Sam Blade Hi there! I’m Jay! I'm 19 and was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. I’m currently a sophomore at Nova Southeastern University double majoring in neuroscience and psychology. I was diagnosed with FA back in 2017, a few months before I turned 13. I played tons of sports growing up including baseball, soccer, and basketball. I was gifted at baseball until I started showing minor symptoms of FA at 10, such as a lack of hand-eye coordination. Getting frustrated I quit and continued my journey in soccer. I lacked the coordination to dribble the ball so I played goalie. A few years later I had to quit playing sports being diagnosed with the FA heart condition followed by my actual FA diagnosis.

I was heartbroken, but young me didn’t fully understand the severity of FA. I was limited by my doctors with what extracurriculars I could do. I didn’t do much the next few years, I moved around to different states for my parent's work and took life day by day with no real goals.

In the summer between my junior and senior years, I realized I needed to take my life back and set goals. As college approached I had to think about what field I wanted to go into. Now having the knowledge I did, and having interest, I wanted to continue this path starting with declaring my major in neuroscience. I’ve not decided on which profession to aim for, but something in this field. Alongside this goal, I also thought of a physically active hobby I could do while progressing with FA. My whole life my parents have fed me pretty healthy food and have worked out. That sparked my idea for weight lifting. I’ve been lifting for about 2 ½ years now and on top of that do daily walks on my school's campus. Even though I’ve been diagnosed for 7 years, I credit my independence to setting major goals.

Now that I’ve started my journey, I want to share with others how to get on track and push themselves. This is my motto for being a FARA ambassador, to spread my knowledge.