November 10, 1987 - January 4, 2014
Eric Matthew Christensen was born in Garden City, KS on November 10, 1987. He moved with his parents to Colorado in 1996.
On January 4, 2014 after a short bout with Influenza A: H1N1, he passed away … he was only 26 years old.
He had Friedreich’s Ataxia, a progressive neuromuscular disease. He continually tried to maintain as much stamina as possible with exercise, diet and physical therapy. He was frequently seen around the neighborhood on his recumbent three-wheel bike. He also improved himself intellectually through the use of his computer and helping parents and friends, as well as his keen observations of his surroundings.
He loved God, his parents, family, friends, trains, LEGOs and every other sort of engineering or construction project. His Mustang convertible was also on his list of favorite things. He loved his car: that shiny red Mustang convertible… driving fast! Being with people was very important to him.
Always wanting to help, he worked for numerous fund raising events for Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA). He was an Ambassador for FARA and his hope was that even if it never helped him, it would help others similarly afflicted by finding a cure. He was willing to be in an experimental treatment programs… not for his own healing [he knew that would not happen, but he always hoped it would…], but so that he could be used to help others in the future… Amazing how he thought of others and knew that what we do affects tomorrow…He became the support for so many… and how much his willingness to listen had healed and helped them.
Our favorite part of Eric though… was his grin… when he was being mischievous…when he told me of how fast he liked to drive and ride his bike…. When he told me what a dare devil he used to be… Words frequently used to describe him were strong, focused, funny, determined, inventive, creative, inspiring, and caring.
We admired his willingness to keep going! He inspired us to do better, to try harder…We admired how he kept pushing himself when others would have given up! We admired how he kept working and fighting not only to live, but to be as healthy as he could be.
He thought how great his parents were --- always making sure he was at the doctor on time, all the appointments… how they cared for him and how much time he spent with his dad working on cars and projects around the house…
He had been dealt a rough hand… and still he carried on, tried, worked hard, appreciated his family and friend, helped others, and loved God… Eric was a child when he was first diagnosed…. A teen when the disease progressed… and he died a man… strong, honest, loving and all of the things we would admire any man for!
He did not set out to be a light for us… he was just living his life… but he was a light… and his light shone brightly! Eric was a gift… He had much darkness in his life and yet he continued to shine… and now, he has flown away … Like a bird set free from his cage…Eric is free!
Eric Christensen was an active member of the FARA Ambassadors.
The following is Eric's self-introduction:
In high school, I was a pretty normal teenager. I worked hard to get my driver’s license at 16, and restored a Mustang GT with my dad. I traveled, and have been to many states, both coasts, and several different countries.
During college, I really focused on maintaining a 4.0 GPA. After my freshman year, my balance deteriorated to the point I could no longer walk. I decided to try stem cell therapy, and gained significant muscle mass, with improved tone and control. When I was no longer able to walk, the economic recession was at its strongest. I struggled to function in a two story house for years. My father, a Realtor, listed our house for sale last year. I took real estate classes to learn to assist him. Together, we were able to sell it and move into a one-level home.
Right now, we are modifying it with an entry ramp, ADA door levers, ADA faucets, and wide doors (to accommodate a wheelchair). I started going to physical therapy to maintain my strength. I intend to live life to the best of my ability, and keep my body as ready as possible for a cure!
Eric was taken after by sudden onset of the Influenza virus A (H1N1 Swine flu) and it caused viral pneumonia. His FA was not what took him.
To date, FARA has received $1,095 to support FA research in Eric's name.