FA is a rare inherited disease that causes nervous system damage and movement problems. It usually begins in childhood and leads to impaired muscle coordination (ataxia) that only worsens over time. Although rare, FA is the most common form of hereditary ataxia, affecting about 1 in every 150,000 people the first symptom to appear is usually difficulty walking and over 10 or 20 years the ataxia will gradually worsen and will slowly spread to the arms and the trunk.
Other features include loss of tendon reflexes, especially in the knees and ankles which will disable the ability to walk over time. This has all happened to Meg in under a year. Slowness and slurring of speech develops and will get progressively worse. Many individuals with later stages of FA develop hearing and vision loss and heart issues and in later stages of the disease individuals may become completely incapacitated.