Jason DrakeName: Jason Drake

Age: 26

Where do you call home? Franklin, Virginia

Relationship status? Do you have children? No (but quite a few nephews!)

Occupation/Employment: Farmer

Education: High School and some college.

How long have you been living (or known you are living) with Friedreich's Ataxia? 10 years; I was diagnosed in 2004 through blood work.

Do you have any known family history of Friedreich's Ataxia or similar symptoms? No.

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I was walking independently until I was 21; then I started using a walker to help me get around for a few years, and now I use a wheelchair about 80% of the time.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises do you do to stay strong? I raise and race hunting dogs and I insist on doing everything I can on my own. (Jason is well-known in his area for raising some of the best hunting dogs around!) (Jason is well-known in his area for raising some of the best hunting dogs around!)

(l-r) Tom, Jamie and Jason (l-r) Tom, Jamie and JasonDo you use any tech aides? if so, what works or hasn't worked for you? No.

What's your most comfortable pair of shoes to wear? New Balance sneakers.

Do you have a diet plan you like to follow, and why? No.

Do you participate in any adaptive sports or recreational activities? Dog hunting club.

What is one way living with Friedreich's Ataxia has POSITIVELY affected your life? It has made me appreciate the simple things more!

What is the best advice you could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia? Never stop, and do all the things you feel you can do!

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment for Friedreich's Ataxia is found? Clean the hunting dog pens! :)

"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? FA doesn't control my limitations!

We are stronger together! Find a new "Meet the Community" interview every Monday. Jamie