Name: Candace Honeycutt
Where do you call home? Grinnell, IA
Education (degree(s): I graduated high school in 1994 and attended college for 1 year. For the past 3 years, I've taken some classes online and in person. I hope to earn a BA eventually.
What is your relationship status? I am married to my husband of 22 years. We have 2 sons, ages 20 and 18. The 18-year-old is graduating this year and preparing for college in the fall. The 20-year-old attends college about 2 hours away.
What's a typical day for you? I am not employed, but try to remain as active as possible in my community. I am a member of the League of Women Voters and am on the board of a local women's empowerment group called SHE Counts.
How long have you known you are living with FA? I was diagnosed in January of 1997; 22 years ago, when I was 21 years old.
Are there any others with FA in your family? I have a younger brother with FA. He is 4 years younger than me and diagnosed about 2-3 years after me.
Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. For many years I used a walker inside the house and the wheelchair
outside the house. I threw out my back about 5 years ago, and after I recovered my unsteadiness was too great to use the walker at all. Since then I've used the wheelchair full-time.
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? Chair yoga is my favorite. I try to get down on the floor a couple of times a week for stretching/yoga. I stretch nightly. I do light arm weights 3x per week. I go to my local gym 2-3 times per week for cardio on the Nu-Step machine (recumbent stepper).
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I enjoy gardening-flowers and vegetables. I mostly do container gardening as the upkeep of a flower bed is too difficult. I read a lot and attend a once a month book club.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Keep moving, for as long as possible. Even if all you can do that day is some ankle rolls, just keep moving.
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I am important to my friends and family, and I still have a lot to offer the world.
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? I really "stop and smell the roses". I truly appreciate the moments, people, and places that I experience. I try very hard to just live in the present moment.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Do the best things for you; mind, body, and soul. Eat well, exercise and learn how to modify the exercises to work for you. Focus on what you can do today to be kind and helpful to yourself.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? Swim in the ocean—try surfing
I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? Yes, I have FA, but this is my life, and I am determined to make it the best I possibly can.