MadelynName Madelyn Frederick

Age 19

Where do you call home? I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and still live there.

Education: Ever since I was little I had dreams of becoming a teacher. When I was diagnosed with FA, I didn't think I would be able to achieve that dream. I knew it would be physically and mentally difficult but I am gonna do it. I am currently attending Collin College to get my degree in education.

What is your relationship status? I am currently a single, college student who lives with her parents and brother. I have an aspiring YouTube channel and am way too obsessed with blue bell peanut butter cookie dough ice cream. I have 2 older sisters and they both have some very adorable children. My brother is a senior in high school and wants to play baseball in college.

What's a typical day for you? A typical day in my life consists of going to class, doing homework, working out, filming and editing for my youtube channel, and hanging out with friends and family. Every day is different and everything I do depends on how much energy I have. There are some days that I don't even get out of bed.

How long have you known you are living with FA? I turned 13 in February of 2012 and was diagnosed in March. After 3 months of hospital visits, staring at the same type of paintings in numerous doctors' offices, and what felt like a lifetime of tests, I finally received the diagnosis of FA.

Madelyn CollageAre there any others with FA in your family? I am the only one in my family who has hit the genetic lottery.

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I am currently still walking. I hold on to someone's arm for stability when walking shorter distances and I use a manual wheelchair for long distances.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I ride a stationary recumbent bike and also do core exercises but my favorite way to work out is swimming. I definitely think I was made to be a mermaid.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I have a youtube channel where I make videos about my life and what it is like living with FA. I have always been a very creative person whether I was playing instruments, singing, writing, drawing, decorating or cooking it was always something. As FA constricts my creative outlets, I was searching for something that would fill my cup in all the ways I needed. My Channel has allowed that. I am able to fulfill my creative side by filming and editing and telling my story in hopes to help others but also help myself too. I like doing makeup and hair and fashion. I like all things girly! I also enjoy modeling and doing photo shoots with my sister for her photography business. I love being surrounded by people who make me laugh.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Even though everything that goes along with FA may seem negative I promise it's not all bad. It's okay to have bad days but also find joy in the little things. Smile and be positive because life is so much better when you're laughing.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I am a Pinterest junky. So anytime I'm feeling down I search for motivational quotes or bible verses on there. I also have a bunch of my favorite ones hanging in my room just as daily reminders.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? I often times find myself thinking about what my life would be like without FA. I dream of what it would be like to not be so spastic with my movements, to walk around the grocery store without feeling like I had just run a marathon, or what it's like to not bounce off walls like a ping pong ball. But if all of that didn't exist I wouldn't have the appreciation I have for my family and friends, I would take the little things for granted, I wouldn't have met and created relationships and bonds with some of the most incredible people I know, and most importantly if I didn't have FA I wouldn't know what hope was.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? " She believed she could, so she did."

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Find good, positive people and keep them close. Don't feel like you have to fight FA alone. It has taken me almost 5 years to "accept" my diagnosis and get involved in the FA community. I was scared to be vulnerable and humble myself, and now that I have it's a whole new world for me and I have learned to embrace my awkward!

Madelyn 2What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? When a cure is found I will walk confidently in a pair of black patent leather stilettos down the streets of New York.

"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 do have Friedreich's Ataxia. It is part of me but it isn't all of me. I may do things a bit different or slower but I am still 100% me!

Tell us a little more about you...I'm obsessed with succulents and plants but they have to be fake because I did not inherit my mom's green thumb. I have a minor addiction to iced coffee. I like being outside in the sun at the lake with my family. I love to snuggle with my dog Max, but he is not much of a cuddler. I seem to like all music genres. Bright and colorful things make me really happy. I love the Lord with my whole heart. I have a huge sweet tooth and one of my favorite movies is Disney's Tomorrowland. I would love it if you checked out my youtube channel

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