Welcome to Natchez's Personal Page
I was diagnosed with Friedrich's axtaxia (FA), a debilitating, life shortening neuromuscular disease in December 2006. I started using a wheelchair full-time in December 2014. I'm extremely thankful that I am fully supported with love and kindness from family, friends, and even strangers. I was nervous to"come out" with my disability, but I have received nothing but support.
I received a grant to buy a recumbent handcycle June 2017. A recumbent handcycle is a bike powered by my arms instead my legs. As soon as I got word that I received the grant, I started strengthening my arms. In the Florida heat, I would wheel myself around my neighborhood block. In the beginning, I was only able to go around my block one time, .3 miles. At the end of July, I was wheeling around 3 times- almost a whole mile! When I received my hand-cycle at the beginning of August, I rode 2.5 miles. I could feel my arm muscles had gotten stronger. I also noticed I felt stronger throughout my entire body!
Even when I was an "able-body" I never exercised regularly. I can honestly say that receiving the grant has changed my life. I feel so positive about the cardio I get from riding my handcycle. I found a way to exercise even though my legs are weak and will not listen to my brain.
On November 12th, I'm riding 10 miles in Orlando's annual Ride Ataxia. I’ll ride with local FA families, friends and cycling enthusiasts to redefine what is possible in FA research. This is my second time riding and first time raising money. I set a goal to raise $1,000; any amount donated is greatly appreciated and goes straight to FARA, Friedrich Ataxia Research Alliance.
RideATAXIA was founded by Kyle Bryant, a young man with FA. Kyle redefined what was possible in his life when he took up recumbent cycling. He says after training for and completing his first century ride, "I can't even walk down the street, but I rode 100 miles in a day. After that the sky was the limit." Since 2007, rideATAXIA has raised over $5 million to fund FA research progress.
Join me in supporting the urgent pace of that research. Donate. Together we will cure FA!
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