Refined By Fire – a Column by Ryan Berhar

Rare Disease Day

Ryan is a simple man from Bend, Oregon. While he aspires to one day become a sit-down comedian, he has turned most of his attention to writing. He loves sharing his life experiences with people and bringing awareness to his disease. His two favorite things are sports and coffee.

Refined by Fire

At 10 months old, I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type II, a recessive genetic neuromuscular disease. It increasingly robs me of strength and affects my spinal cord’s motor nerve cells. As the number one genetic cause of infant death, and with an average life expectancy of about…