Colorado teen perseveres in the face of rare illness

KUSA - There's a good chance you've heard of Friedreich's Ataxia, but there's another, extremely rare form of Ataxia, called Spinocerebellar Type 7.

It's a genetic condition, but despite no hope of a treatment right now, Nate Redman and his family remain steadfast.

Storytellers Vida Urbonas and Chris Cheline met Nate and his family, who live in Parker.

Nate exemplifies the power of perseverance.

You can often find Nate working at his family's Dunkin' Donuts in Aurora, even though he's in a wheelchair and it's difficult for him to get around.

His dog Booster is always by his side. So is his mom and dad, Doug and Nanette Redman, as well as his sisters, Megan and Katy.

Nate was a typical teen. He was a big wrestler in high school.

"Until about 15 ,when we noticed some subtle differences vision problems motor skills," Doug Redman said.

At 17 he was diagnosed with Ataxia.

"Since then, Nate has lost his ability to walk, lost his vision, lost ability to talk clearly," Doug Redman said.

He was diagnosed with a version so rare, only a few dozen are diagnosed with it in the country.

"Your cerebellum, which tells you how to move, how to breathe, where to look, produces too much protein. Nate over-produces protein," his sister, Megan, said.

His body is overworking itself and is slowly shutting down, but when most people would give up, Nate pushes through.

He finds joy in everything. He rides horses, loves to go to concerts, goes skiing and even brews his own beer.

Nate and his family hope to start a social group for young adults dealing with neurodegenerative conditions, to give them a chance to get out and meet with others dealing with similar life changing events.

You can email Nate at

For more information on Ataxia, go to:

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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