Name: Justin Potter
Where do you call home? South Jersey
Education (degree(s): I have my High School diploma. I tried community college but school just isn’t my thing! I have worked in security and am trying to get certified in IT work.
Who do you live with? I live with my grandfather, one of my younger brothers, and my dog Marley.
What's a typical day for you? Wake up in the morning, eat something, shower, and go on with the day however it goes. Whether it's different appointments or anything in general.
How long have you known you are living with FA? I was 12/13 when I was diagnosed after a lot of different tests, but had symptoms throughout my life, but I never knew it was because of FA until diagnosis.
Are there any others with FA in your family? None.
Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. When I was 19 I started using a cane due to the fact I was losing my balance more often. Now I use a walker when I am out in public, or use a wheelchair if its something that requires a lot of walking.
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I go to physical therapy twice a week. I do leg stretches, some weight machines for my overall leg strength. I also do upper body workouts to keep my core strong. Starting in the gym soon also.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I listen to a lot of music, play Xbox, and follow baseball/football. I also take an interest in tattoos and cars.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? I let friends and whoever know that certain things are not in my wheelhouse, and if I feel as though something is too much for myself physically, that i'm not doing it or will find a different way. Most people who know me already know how it goes with me though lol.
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I think about all the good things in my life and how much worse it could be. I'll usually just put on music also to get my mind away from certain things.
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? It led me to see more & more who is really true to me. Whether it's friends or when it comes to relationships.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? Not sure if its considered a quote, but I always go by the saying: Life Goes On
What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Honestly, just live your life to the fullest. It may get hard at times but like myself, giving up is not an option. People may say things that make you feel less than them, but at the end of the day you have yourself and who is already close to you and understands your struggles and/or feelings.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? First thing I want to do is go to a batting cage lol (I miss playing baseball).
"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? What it means to me is I may have a medical diagnosis but it does not define me as a person.
How do you live your life in the face of adversity? I go on about my days. Whether I think about whatever adversities it may be, you just have to keep pushing forward.
Tell us a little more about you… …. I grew up in NJ most of my life and moved a lot growing up, so I have gone to a good amount of different schools also. I have met a lot of people, but I only associate with a few at this point in my life. I love watching/following baseball. The NY Yankees are my favorite team, hoping for a 28th World Series victory. Have been waiting for that day again since 6th grade. I loved playing it whether it was on the field or just wiffleball in the yard. Having FA definitely has made me mentally stronger throughout the years. No matter how hard it gets I still keep a positive mindset. I love tattoos, I have 18 right now. I express myself with different tattoos and I'm definitely not finished getting ink. To end I want to say that no. matter how bad the diagnosis may be, you'll see who is really your friend. You will see who really does not mind your physical limitations for certain activities. You can take that same energy and put it into perspective for yourself when it comes to a relationship also.