resident is gearing up for a race that will raise awareness for a genetic
disorder that affects the nervous system, and only three Alaskans statewide.
Mary Donaldson has more.
Twenty-year-old Sean Roberson grew
up like any other normal kid in Kodiak. He attended Peterson
Elementary School, Kodiak Middle School
and Kodiak High School, and was really active with King
But, by the time he turned 17, he
unexpectedly faced a major life challenge when he was diagnosed with
Friedreich’s Ataxia, or “FA”. He says what FA is and that in his case, the
symptoms are only mild.
(Sean 1 :21s “…in that way I am very lucky.”)
Everyday tasks most people take for
granted, he struggles to perform. He now needs special equipment just to
function. He says his day-to-day challenges are many.
(Sean 2 :25s “…all of that stuff.”)
However, being diagnosed with FA
has not slowed down Roberson’s drive to succeed and be active. He has been
training to ride in the 3rd annual Ride Ataxia, which is a race to
raise awareness and research funds for the disorder. The race will begin in
March in Sacramento, California
and will end about 12 days later in Seattle.
The race participants use a special bicycle called the Trice Q, which allows
participants with FA to cycle independently. Roberson says the bike he will
need to purchase has to be custom made for him overseas.
(Sean 5 :25s “…on and off the bike.”)
Roberson says that the race
benefits an organization that does research on FA.
(Sean 4 :32s “…effects of ataxia.”)
He says his training is going to be a
challenge between now and spring.
(Sean 6 :23s “…for the next ten months.”)
Those interested in helping Sean
fund his dreams have several ways of donating. There is a fund set up at Wells
Fargo Bank under the account called Friedreich’s Ataxia Fund or by donating airline
miles to an account set up at US Travel. There will also be a 100 mile bike
race in late August called the Kodiak Coastal Centurion race to benefit
I’m Mary Donaldson
HOST TAG: People who
are interested in participating in the Kodiak Coastal Centurion race can
register in person at 58 degrees North between August 7-28 and online at
Active.com after July 1st.