Name: Ribar Mohamad
Where do you call home? United States of America
Education/Career: I finished high school in my home country of Syria and right now I’m learning English in the USA.
Who do you live with? I live with my family in our home.
What is a typical day for you? I do physical therapy and speech therapy, studying English at college, and doing some exercises at home.
How long have you known you are living with FA? When I was almost 15 years old. I started having scoliosis and problems keeping my balance when standing or walking. By 2008, after doctors did an MRI, they discovered that I had ataxia, but I didn't know which type I had. In 2017, in the USA, I did a blood test and I found out, I have Friedreich’s Ataxia.
Are there any others with FA in your family? No, I’m the only one.
Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I walked alone until I was 19 and then used a walker. Right now, I've been using a wheelchair outside since 2017 and the walker, with help, inside the home.
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? Physical therapy is very important for me to do, like walking, standing, and sitting.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? Yes, searching on the Internet, meeting new people and I also enjoy watching movies.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Ask people for help, love all people, and be thankful.
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I listen to music, and I tell myself "stop it," you have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes I take anti-depressants.
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? FA has affected me positively through the amazing people I have met.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? Someday, when things are okay, you will look back and feel proud that you didn’t give up.
What is a piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? The advice I can give is, “I know Ataxia is so hard but giving up isn’t a choice”. Together will find a cure.
What is the best advice YOU could give a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? This life is a test and trial, and tests are never supposed to be easy. Live your life with hope and never give up. Tomorrow will be better.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment is found? I want to dance and travel to Kurdistan, Iraq. But my mom says that once I find a cure she'll marry me with a pretty girl.
"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? How do you live your life in the face of adversity? It means, never give up and do not die before your time.
Tell us a little more about you… I’m from Syria and I’ve moved to the USA in 2017. I live with my wonderful family. I like to search online, and I like to see people with FA and read the news about research for Ataxia.