I’m Jonathan Zilles. I was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia when I was 11 years old. Life as a kid with
Friedreich’s was pretty normal, but I fell down a lot. My symptoms started early and included hand-eye coordination issues.
Despite FA, I was fortunate enough to graduate both high school and college, and even live on my own for a few years. Friedreich’s has since taken away my independence. I need 24-hour support and care, so I live with
my parents. I use a service dog to help me—although I recently lost Phelps to a heart attack. Phelps was a great friend and helped make life more enjoyable.
I like listening to music, watching college football (Go Auburn!) and the San Antonio Spurs. I’m 38 now and have 2 older sisters that are both carriers of the disease. If I were to give advice to someone who is newly diagnosed with Ataxia, it would be to find a good neurologist, learn as much as you can, and seek out other families dealing with Ataxia. My story is just one of 150,000. Please donate today and help us
Community support is vital to the work that NAF does. Our generous donors help us fund promising Ataxia research and offer support services to people with Ataxia. Your gift today will help us continue to deliver on our mission to improve the lives of persons affected by Ataxia.
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