Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a neuro-muscular, genetic disorder that affects one in roughly 50,000 people in the United States. It is debilitating, progressive and currently has no cure.

Johnston native Matt DiIorio was diagnosed with the illness in 1994. For some time, he and his family were unsure where to turn for information and support.

Now in his early 30s, Matt went on to attend Bryant University, graduating in 2004 with a degree in business communications. He maintained a positive outlook and stayed active, managing the basketball team, joining the Delta Chi fraternity and working for several years as a DJ after finishing school.

Read More: "We're not alone anymore": 5th Race for Matt and Grace to support fight against Friedreich's ataxia