At 5 years old, Izzy Penston couldn’t keep up with other kids. Her handwriting got more muddled with each day. Izzy had an MRI which showed a lipoma; a fatty tumor on the base of her spinal cord which was thought to be the root of these issues. She underwent a surgery a year later to have the tumor removed, but the problems still continued to persist.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />
At age 8, Izzy developed a heart murmur and visited a cardiologist. She was then tested for and later diagnosed her with a rare genetic disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia.
Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a debilitating, life-shortening degenerative neuromuscular disease typically affecting children and young adults. Often, signs and symptoms include loss of coordination (ataxia) in the arms and legs, fatigue - energy deprivation and muscle loss, vision impairment, hearing loss, slurred speech, and life shortening heart complications – all while still completely aware.