brittany sommerfield Hi! My name is Chrysanthi, I am 37 years old and I come from Greece.

I was diagnosed with FA when I was 20, but I have been experiencing symptoms, such as instability, since I was 17. The diagnosis came relatively quick for me, but it was not an easy process. Between my anxiety about school at the time, and not showing any specific symptoms, it was hard to identify and diagnose the disease. After the diagnosis came, dealing with the disease itself was difficult. I started taking care of my physical health early on and I think that has helped me a lot because for many years I could walk and did not have to use a wheelchair. While I am currently using a wheelchair, I still make sure to stay active by doing hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and I also love to exercise using a handbike. I believe exercise is key to all neuromuscular diseases and people’s general well-being as well.

I am proud to have been a FARA ambassador for Greece since late 2020. I think patient advocacy is important and that’s why in addition to being a FARA ambassador, I am also a member of the Board of “Hellenic Friedrich’s Ataxia Association”, a non-profit association helping and ensuring equal access to healthcare for FA patients in Greece. I look the future with hope for all FA patients.

I love Geology and after a B.A and an MSC, I decided I wanted to pursue a PHD in Geography and spatial analysis. Right now I live in Athens, Greece with my husband and I work as a web developer, for tourism industry.