Finding Strength and Support: Mary Scheetz’s Journey with Ataxia


In a heartwarming story shared by Jason Wolfer, we meet Mary Scheetz, a resilient individual living with Spinocerebellar Ataxia number Eight in Portland, Oregon.  Mary’s journey with Ataxia began over a decade ago, marked by a series of symptoms that gradually led to her diagnosis.

Reflecting on her experience,

Mary recalls the onset of food allergies in the nineteen-eighties, followed by eye prisms and stiffness in her left knee around the year 2000.  Despite seeking medical guidance, her condition remained elusive until a Neurologist’s examination and subsequent tests revealed her diagnosis of SCA 8.

Despite the challenges posed by Ataxia, Mary remains active and engaged in life.  She participates in Rebel Fitness, an exercise program catering to individuals with mobility issues, focusing on movement, balance, and vocal skills through activities like boxing, dancing, yoga, and more.  Additionally, Mary finds solace and understanding in attending an Ataxia Support Group, where she can connect with others who share similar experiences.

Through her journey, Mary has learned valuable lessons, including the importance of self-compassion and patience.  

She emphasizes the significance of finding supportive communities. Whether through support groups or online platforms like Facebook, where individuals can share their experiences and offer encouragement.

Mary’s story serves as an inspiration to the Ataxia community. Highlighting the power of resilience, support, and self-acceptance in navigating life’s challenges.  Her words resonate with compassion and understanding, reminding us of the strength gained through shared stories and connections.

As we continue to come together as a community, sharing our experiences and offering support, Ataxia loses its hold. And we emerge stronger together.  

Mary’s story encourages us to keep sharing, learning, and supporting one another on this journey.

We would like to thank Jason and Mary for sharing this story with us. 

Please share your thoughts and/or comments on this or any other article.  And if you would like to get involved and share your experience with Ataxia, please contact us.  Join Our Community today.  A place where we empower you to build a healthy lifestyle and raise overdue Ataxia Awareness.  Experience transformative storytelling and share your story to inspire positive change.

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