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Member Stories

Ed Schwartz

Ed Schwartz

“My name is Ed Schwartz. I’m co – chairman of “The Western Pennsylvania Ataxia Support Group of the National Ataxia Foundation (NAF).
…” Read More…


Jonathan Zilles

Jonathan Zilles

“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….” Read More…


Linda Snider, MD

Linda Snider, MD

“My name is Linda Snider, MD, and I am 45 years old. I started experiencing symptoms in my late 30s — walking off balance, slurring my words, and tripping a lot. I was diagnosed with SCA type 1. I became a doctor because my father had Ataxia and I became interested in medicine at a young age. …” Read More…


Leonard Family

Leonard Family

“My name is Stephanie Leonard, and I have two sons, Ames and Asher. When they were babies, we started noticing they were delayed with milestones and didn’t take their first steps until after their second birthday. After countless hours of research, physical therapy, doctor appointments, …” Read More…


Lisa and Jane Jaffe

Lisa and Jane Jaffe

“My name is Jane Jaffe. My daughter, Lisa, was diagnosed with Ataxia in July 2002. We were shocked when the neurologist told us our gorgeous, smart, funny, terrific daughter had a part of her brain shrinking. …” Read More…


David Henry Jr.

David Henry

“It is a “Funny thing”, now looking back at what caused me to seek a diagnosis’. Yeah, spending some quality time in jail caused me to get motivated to find some answers. It is real plain to see God’s powerful, loving
and guiding hand in the diagnoses process. Even the jail was ‘not really that bad’, but it did get my attention none the less….” Read More…


Mary Fuchs

Mary Fuchs

“For me, it is now about the “Fight for a Cure” and “Ataxia Awareness.” I found the Arizona Ataxia Support Group when we first moved to Arizona. I needed them and they needed me. They were experiencing “burn-out” and I had lots of energy, time, and new ideas to give. I am now co-coordinator since August 2010. I found the NAF, great support help and friends forever. After these 16 years of living with ataxia, my priorities are diet, exercise, support, education, encouragement, safety and FAITH which is huge for me. We cannot “stick our head in the sand” and hope it goes away. We all have gifts and talents. My message is “USE THEM, it’s not about what you lost or can’t do, it’s about doing things differently.” Read More…


Ferris Family

Lindsay Ferris

“When Liesel was a baby I noticed her not meeting her milestones. Liesel’s Pediatrician watched her closely. At her 6-month checkup we made the decision to start therapy, but it took 2 months to get approval from insurance. Liesel started physical and occupational therapy at 8 months old. During that time, everyone believed she was just severely delayed. Liesel’s Pediatrician knew it was more than just being delayed…” Read More…


Louise Estabrook

Louise Estabrook

“The National Ataxia Foundation serves as a constant reminder for so many that we are not alone on this journey. The network and support provided by the NAF have enabled my family and me to find strength through this battle knowing that any success we achieve is not solely for our benefit but for the benefit of us all. After being diagnosed with SCA Type 3, I changed my diet to try to improve my symptoms. Changing my lifestyle to accommodate a new diet was a difficult challenge. …” Read More…


Shannon Dunphy Lazo

Shannon Dunphy Lazo

My journey began many moons ago. Happily, my ataxia has progressed slowly, over 20 years. For a while, I could still walk unaided. Then I eventually … But I digress. Most of you know the common symptoms of ataxia, so I won’t bore you with too many details. I have been grappling with who I Read More…


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