In February 2021, Maxine Derksen joined the Hope for Ataxia team. She helps out with Hope for Ataxia blog publications and may take on some other tasks over time as well.
Through her studies, Maxine Derksen learned about ataxia. Maxine was impressed by the worldwide reach of Hope for Ataxia, especially considering that there is only a small team behind this organization.
She thinks that the international aspect of HFA is very important because ataxia is a rare disorder with many different subtypes. HFA brings together people with ataxia from all over the world to get in touch with people who are in a similar situation. This platform allows them to share their stories and provide a listening ear to one another. After being able to experience this herself during a support group meeting, Maxine felt motivated to become a volunteer for HFA.
Maxine’s tasks involve editing, writing, and publishing posts for the HFA blog. This allows her to work on her writing skills and learn how to use WordPress while taking off some of Mark and Courtney’s workload. According to Maxine, the positive vibe within the volunteer team motivates her to stay involved. Mark and Courtney do a great job of staying in touch and giving tips for improvement but also take the time to have some fun with the whole team.
In the future, Maxine wants to take the time to help out on other fronts as well, for example with the website’s user experience (UX). With her background in human-technology interaction, she may be able to provide some useful insights and use her passion for UX to improve spreading awareness for ataxia. She hopes that this will help to make the HFA website as easy and intuitive as possible while providing the information and functionality that people are looking for.
In her free time, Maxine is an active birdwatcher, so topics like climate change and durability are also very important to her. To reduce her ecological footprint and contribute to a better world, she tries to make conscious lifestyle decisions like adhering to a vegetarian diet and buying local produce as much as possible.
Thank you to Maxine Derksen for sharing your insights and joining our team!