Libby 5Name: Libby Schwers

Age: 23

Where do you call home? Des Moines, IA

Education degree(s): I have a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from the University of Northern Iowa.

What's a typical day for you? I work as a graphic designer at a design agency called TwoTone Creative. After work, I like to cook myself dinner, and I'm always trying out new recipes. I like to relax most nights and spend time with friends on the weekends.

How long have you known you are living with FA? I was diagnosed with FA in May of 2019, but I have been dealing with symptoms of FA for about six years.

Describe an adaptation and/or transition you have had to take due to living with FA. I have had to get used to asking for help with things I struggle with, something I used to be ashamed of. I've learned that it's perfectly okay to ask for help and that people are happy to help me when I need it.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? My parents recently gifted me with a recumbent trike that I have been getting so much use of! I've been really enjoying biking because I like to be outside. I also lift weights a few times per week to build muscle and keep my body as strong as possible.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I have always had a passion for photography, graphic design, and interior design. I also enjoy cooking and gardening.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? I try to make sure I get plenty of sleep and plan my day the night before so that I can take my time getting ready in the morning and not feel rushed or stressed.

Libby CollageWhen FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I think of all the people in my life that have supported me and been there for me. I am very grateful for my friends and family who go out of their way to make sure I live my best life.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? Being diagnosed with FA was actually such a blessing to me. It has taught me a lot about myself and given me a lot of courage. I know now that I can accomplish anything, even if I do things a little differently than others.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? A quote I love that applies to living with FA is, "If you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl, but by all means, keep moving." - Martin Luther King, Jr. I recently got the words "Keep Moving" tattooed on my leg as a reminder of this quote.

What is a piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? Kyle Waterman once told me that the most important thing I can do is to remain positive! He is one of the most positive people I've ever met. He inspires me to be more like him every day.

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? I want those who are new to the FA community to understand that they are not alone. There are so many people that want to find a cure for FA, and it's important to have faith that it will happen someday in the near future.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? I would definitely do a lot of dancing, jumping, and cartwheels. I would also buy several pairs of high heeled shoes.

How do you live your life in the face of adversity? I make sure to remind myself that FA can never change my personality. I have some amazing people in my life that love me regardless of this disease. I will always be me.

Tell us a little more about you... I grew up on a farm in Dyersville, IA. I have two younger brothers that are both healthy. I have always been an artistic person and love to add a little color to everything in my life. Currently, my favorite things to do include tending to my house plants and going on bike rides. I enjoy expressing myself through fashion and interior design. You'll usually catch me wearing pastel colors or geeking out over things that are cute and tiny.

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