As a 20-year-old, Murphy resident Emily Penn is coming to terms with a harsh reality... she's losing the ability to walk.
Penn has Friedreich's Ataxia also known as F.A. According to the National Institutes of Health, the disease affects one in 50,000 Americans. In the short term, a person with F.A. has difficulty walking. In the long term, a person can develop diabetes, heart disease and a shorter life expectancy. There are currently no treatments. During the past three years, Penn has volunteered and has helped raise money for Ride Ataxia Dallas, a cycling event designed to raise awareness regarding the disease. But this year will be different.
"I would have never in my wildest dreams think I would be bicycling," Penn said.
With intense coaching, Penn is training to cycle through 25 miles of Denton streets for Ride Ataxia Dallas.