Well…with the success of the first profile featuring Jason Baxter there is only one thing to do…keep posting! Today we are going to feature a special lady who is a mother of two precious, identical seven-year-old twin girls. She is happily married and resides in South Carolina.
Say hello to Allison Dana….
Allison was twenty-years-old when she was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia. She was in her junior year when she received the news of the Neurological Disease…but went on to finish and graduate with a degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. She worked in this field for seven years…ultimately giving it up. Patients that she worked with required injections of small amounts of radioactivity. Allison recognized that this ability had become something that she couldn’t do anymore.
Allison then moved on and spent the next four years working as a Clinical Research Coordinator. It was at the end of those four years that her daughters were born…and now Allison finds fulfillment in being a mom…which includes volunteering at her girls’ school. She sees her volunteer work at the school as a way to help her girls…but also, as a way to help herself to get out and be around other people. She also considers daily exercise to be important and views it as a pleasant hobby.
When asked what advice she would give…based on something learned through Ataxia…Allison replied, “to keep your independence for as long as possible…but it is okay to accept help when you need it). Hear, hear Allison! Great advice…we just need to do what we need to do. Speaking of that…Allison also has a four-year-old Great Dane named Zeppelin that serves her as a mobility or balance dog.
Allison has volunteered and participated for the last three years in RideAtaxia. She has never actually ridden in the event…but this year she will be riding her trike, with her two daughters riding also. She loves to raise awareness and money for the cause…and this year hopes to see that amount significantly increase. Allison also serves as an Ambassador for FARA…which stands for Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance.
FARA is very active in the FA community…and their goal is to work towards finding a viable treatment…or better yet, a cure. As an Ambassador, she has presented her story to local drug companies who are working towards the goal of an answer to this disease. Telling her story to these companies helps to more personalize their efforts…and puts a face to the research and work that lies before them.
It has been enjoyable for us to learn a little more about Allison…and she would like to leave us with this sage piece of advice: Live your life to the best your ability. Life still goes on even though you were diagnosed with a rare, debilitating disease.
Thank-you, Allison…thank-you for taking the time to let us take a peek into your world. I have enjoyed writing this. Pedal a few for me in the RideAtaxia…
Until next time, my friends…
Please consider sharing your story – whether you have Ataxia, are a caregiver, friend, or relative. You may fill out the form below to get started.