About Laura Beth Jacquin
I lived in
As a child I was very energetic and was involved with gymnastics, dancing, theater and Girl Scouts. As I got older, I learned tap, jazz, and modern dance. I acted in several stage productions, and earned a Gold Award in Girl Scouts.
In sixth grade, I was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a progressive neuromuscular disease I had never heard of or had symptoms of; only one in 50,000 people have it. By seventh grade, I started to feel my muscles become weaker and my balance became too difficult to remain a gymnast or dancer any longer. By eleventh grade, I began using a wheelchair because of heart complications. Today I can no longer walk, and recently have had a substantial loss of vision. Yet I try to remain strong and exercise all the time.
Learning to cope with my disease is not always easy, but I have a lot of love and support from my friends and family. I do my best to stay involved and continue to raise money and hope for a cure. I became personally involved in volunteering and fundraising for the MDA and FARA in 2002 and I continue this work today. I was the MDA Goodwill Ambassador for Western Massachusetts for two years before moving to
I want to give those who are affected the hope to keep fighting and looking for a cure because I know that someday Muscular Dystrophy and Friedreich’s Ataxia won’t be an issue in anyone’s life. And I can’t wait for that day.