3. Disability or Ability

I was born with Friedreich’s ataxia, a degenerative disease of the nervous system.

I was first diagnosed with the disease at age 8, my walking got progressively worse through-out my school years. At the age of 19 I was unable continue walking. I began using a wheelchair, on a full time basis, as I began university. At the age of 21, I decided to travel the world.

Initial symptoms include curvature of the spine (scoliosis), slurred speech and walking becomes awkward and unsteady. Problems with co-ordination, control and balance become an ever-increasing problem. As the condition progresses a wheelchair is required for mobility. Arm and hand movement also become uncoordinated and uncontrolled. Which remain problematic when a wheelchair is required.

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