brittany sommerfield Hello, I am AJ Perez. I am 33 years old and from Austin, Texas.

I was diagnosed with FA just recently, last March to be exact. Although the diagnosis was recent, I have been living with the symptoms for about 10 years. During that time, it was a frustrating, annoying, doubtful time going to unaware doctors. It's not their fault it’s a rare genetic disease. It was so frustrating being told by Dr.'s test after test that I was fine, but knowing myself something was wrong, and having everyone else look at me as though I was drunk due to my speech, and lack of coordination. That is one of the known and common experiences that connect and bring us together. p> Why I jumped at being a FARA Ambassador? My hope is to bring awareness and any other service to those who are already affected, and to those who are trying to figure out what it is that might have them questioning themselves. I want to be that shoulder for people to lean on, that voice that speaks up, or just be able to let someone know they are not alone. Recently I was granted that experience and it is life changing to meet amazing people. I have always wanted to help people, in some ways, most ways I have felt restricted or not qualified enough. I can help people in a huge way that really no one else can by simply being me and that is why I needed to join the Ambassadors.

I am a husband of 11 years; I also have two kids; a 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. Sports have always been a big deal in my life (mainly basketball). I also love all music, the outdoors, camping, fishing, food… being from Texas you know it's BBQ cooking and eating and making sure everyone is havin’ a good ol’ time. That’s what’s at the top of my list.