trim-gjelaj Name: Trim Gjelaj

Age: 31

Where do you call home? I am from Peja, Kosovo, but grew up in Papenburg, Germany.

Education/Career: I finished school for design in Pepenburg, Germany.

Who do you live with?
I live with my mother and two brothers.

What’s a typical day for you?
I wake up. Drink coffee, have breakfast, do exercises, and whatever is my plan is to do for the day.


How long have you known you are living with FA? When I was 17, I was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia.

trim-gjelajDescribe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair: When I was 14 years old, I started walking with difficulty. After I was diagnosed, it took me a few years until I was 21 to start actually using a wheelchair.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? My family is a huge motivator in my life and they encourage me to do daily exercises and inspire me.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I like to drive (maybe a little too fast sometimes) and play Playstation.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? I like to wake up with a big smile.

trim-gjelaj When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I like to think about all of my travel adventures and what lies ahead.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? I have gained some good friends along the way.

What is the best advice YOU could give a person who has been recently diagnosed with FA? FA Is not the end of the world. There are definitely worse situations.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? To walk around Kosovo like the old times.

"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? My life is my life. FA has changed my life and is a part of it now, but I still live my life to the fullest..

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