Hello, my name is Elvis. I'm a personal trainer, a university student, and a FARA ambassador hailing from Sydney, Australia.
I was first diagnosed with FA back in October 2019 (I was 26) when it was confirmed with a genetic test but was given the general diagnosis of Ataxia in November of 2017.
Growing up, I had always felt different from the other kids. I was a bit clumsy and uncoordinated, but still a cheerful guy. I always took comments about my symptoms in my stride; until they started to become more pronounced and noticeable, and walking around had started to become increasingly difficult.
I had just started university when I was diagnosed, so the stress was amounting, but over the years and a few setbacks, I wouldn't let that phase me. I had been a personal trainer for three years at that point, so I got to work, changed my exercise routine, eating habits, and read as much as I could. It was through this I had learned my cousin suffered from FA. I had been told I wasn't likely to have it, as I don't carry many of the common symptoms. After a year wait, I got my test approved, and I was ready to find out what was happening.
My cousin had passed away before I had a chance to find out and tell him. In March, I took the test, and six months later, I knew what I had. Loud and clear. Friedreich's Ataxia, what I had feared the most.
Fast-forward four months, and my outlook has taken a complete U-turn (U-ie for my fellow Aussies). I wear my diagnosis on my sleeve; spreading information about it, supporting FARA and other organizations doing good work and showing the world that there's no limit if you put your mind to it.