Name: Denise Lenhart
Where do you call home? Ankeny, Iowa
Education: I did some college but no degree.
What is your relationship status? Do you have children? I have been married for 20 years and our daughter is almost 21(that makes me feel old!) We also have 3 fur babies, cats, who are good company for me but only when they feel like it!
How long have you known you are living with FA? I was diagnosed with FA at age 12 but had clumsiness before then. No one really came out and said I had FA. Went to the doctors in the city (St. Paul, MN) and that's when I knew I had what my sister has which at the time I did not know the name.
Are there any others with FA in your family? My younger sister also has FA, Melissa, was diagnosed first. She lives in a nursing home.
Describe an adaptation and/or transition you have had to take due to living with FA? I use a manual wheelchair. I would like to use my electric wheelchair more but the motor needs work which is taking a long time to get done (a lot of you probably know how that is)!
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? For exercise, I stretch a lot and do some free weights to keep strong. I do things to keep my diabetes in check too. I also do an FES Bike once a week at On With Life, a rehab place where I do all my physical and occupational therapies.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? A trick to make daily life easier is get some reachers and more reachers!
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? When FA gets me down I may shed a tear and then I think to myself "STOP IT", you have a lot to be thankful for!
What is one way of living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? FA has affected me positively by the awesome people I have met! Whether it is a doctor, a therapist or a member of the FA family.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? A motivational quote is "Just Breathe", simple.
What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? The advice I can give a newly diagnosed person- take all the good days and run with the positivity. Then the bad days seem far and few between.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA? The first thing I would like to do when a cure/treatment occurs is to ride a bike, one 2 wheels not 4!
"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? How do you live your life in the face of adversity? "I have FA but FA doesn't have me" means FA is part of me, not all of me. There is so much more to all of us with any disability! I live my life in the face of adversity is to take every day at my own pace, don't worry about what other people "might" think or do. You can only control you!
Tell us a little more about you... A little more about me is I am shy but the more I am around someone the chatterbox comes out!