Columns

Find Peace and Harmony This Holiday

It’s hard to believe this is the last column I’ll be writing in 2020. I am looking forward to somewhat of a fresh start with the new year coming in. No matter the circumstances, I truly enjoy Christmastime with my family. However, that may not…

Calming the Friedreich’s Ataxia Storm

Lately, I have been falling into a funk easily. All of the “little things” that bother me about life as a Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) patient seemed insurmountably huge and sucked all of my drive away. I didn’t feel joyful or enthused about much of anything except sleeping. So, I…

Acknowledging My Disability Is Empowering

I was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) in 2013. At that point, I was still pretty “normal.” I could still do almost everything except walk in high heels or perform well in sports. I was independent and capable. After seven years of symptom progression, I am now disabled. I am…

I’m Thankful for So Much, Even With Friedreich’s Ataxia

2020 has been a wild year. Thanks to the pandemic, growing civil unrest, and a tumultuous and pivotal presidential election, we are all leading a life we didn’t anticipate or plan for. Add in a progressively degenerative disease like Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), which doesn’t pause to consider any external…

My Diagnosis Isn’t the Entirety of Who I Am

An old tree once stood beside a creek far behind my childhood home. It wasn’t on my family’s property, but because wild blackberries grew there, I was willing to trespass to get to the ripe berries. After eating a handful of them, I’d rest my back against the old tree…

Other People Help Us Move Forward

I hear parents say it often: “I felt helpless.” Sometimes I’ll hear these words during an interview on the podcast I co-host, “Two Disabled Dudes,” while other times I’ll read them in blogs, on social media, or in other columns…

Disability, Independence, and Egrets

I was thinking of egrets as I landed uncomfortably on the floor after my wheelchair brake betrayed me. Well, it wasn’t really a betrayal, but rather my own fault for kicking the brake as I turned over while I slept. A few hours later, as I was making the always…

This Thanksgiving Will Be Different

It’s almost unbelievable that we continue to be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, the effects of the pandemic are greater today than they were nine months ago. In March, I remember thinking that it would…

Practicing Gratitude This Holiday Season

With the holidays approaching, it is a popular time to look back on the year and reflect on life. It’s safe to say that we all have had one of the strangest years ever. No matter where you stand on the political or religious spectrum, the world…

Friedreich’s Ataxia Has Taught Me a Lot

Before I was diagnosed in 2013, I had never even heard of Friedreich’s ataxia. I learned a lot during the diagnostic process as we assessed the viability of possible diagnoses to rule out. For example, I never knew there was such a thing as gluten ataxia, but I…