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Article updated: 7/14/2013 7:01 AM

Villa Park teen rides to raise money for her rare disorder

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Friedreich's ataxia forces Nicole Kramer to use a walker to help with an unsteady gait, but the 19-year-old Villa Park woman finds freedom while cruising the neighborhood on her new custom cycle. She plans to ride in next Sunday's Ride Ataxia fundraiser through the southern suburbs.

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Diagnosed with an untreatable, incurable deadly disease that weakens her muscles and keeps her from playing all the sports she loved as a girl, 19-year-old Nicole Kramer of Villa Park won a custom three-wheel cycle that allows her to bike.

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Always there to offer support when needed, Kelly Kramer helps her daughter, Nicole Kramer, back to their Villa Park home after the teen finishes a ride on her new custom cycle. The 19-year-old suffers from Friedreich's ataxia, an incurable neurological disorder.

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

The neurodegenerative disorder known as Friedreich's ataxia robs Nicole Kramer of the ability to use many of her muscles. But the 19-year-old Villa Park woman can share a smile with her mom, Kelly Kramer.

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Literally racing for a cure, Nicole Kramer of Villa Park will use her new custom cycle in next Sunday's Ride Ataxia to raise funds to fight the progressive disease attacking her body.

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

At last year's inaugural Ride Ataxia fundraiser in the southern suburbs, Nicole Kramer of Villa Park manned a rest stop. Awarded a custom cycle, the 19-year-old with an incurable and degenerative neurological disorder plans to ride in this year's event.

Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

About this Article

Literally racing for a cure, Nicole Kramer of Villa Park will be using her custom bicycle to raise funds to fight the progressive disease attacking her body. Kramer was 14 when she began having troubles with her back, coordination, balance and breathing. As doctors conducted tests, one mentioned to the girl's mother a worst-case scenario of a rare, unlikely and cruel disease called Friedreich's ataxia with the admonition, "Don't go look it up online."
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    • Friedreich's ataxia forces Nicole Kramer to use a walker to help with an unsteady gait, but the 19-year-old Villa Park woman finds freedom while cruising the neighborhood on her new custom cycle. She plans to ride in next Sunday's Ride Ataxia fundraiser through the southern suburbs.
    • Diagnosed with an untreatable, incurable deadly disease that weakens her muscles and keeps her from playing all the sports she loved as a girl, 19-year-old Nicole Kramer of Villa Park won a custom three-wheel cycle that allows her to bike.
    • Always there to offer support when needed, Kelly Kramer helps her daughter, Nicole Kramer, back to their Villa Park home after the teen finishes a ride on her new custom cycle. The 19-year-old suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, an incurable neurological disorder.
    • The neurodegenerative disorder known as Friedreich’s ataxia robs Nicole Kramer of the ability to use many of her muscles. But the 19-year-old Villa Park woman can share a smile with her mom, Kelly Kramer.
    • Literally racing for a cure, Nicole Kramer of Villa Park will use her new custom cycle in next Sunday’s Ride Ataxia to raise funds to fight the progressive disease attacking her body.
    • At last year’s inaugural Ride Ataxia fundraiser in the southern suburbs, Nicole Kramer of Villa Park manned a rest stop. Awarded a custom cycle, the 19-year-old with an incurable and degenerative neurological disorder plans to ride in this year’s event.
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