Not giving in to Ataxia
Alan has been diagnosed with ataxia, a degenerative disease which affects balance and co-ordination, but he's keeping active and won't let it ruin his life.
"I call the wheelchair I use when ever I am out of the house, my "Loamie".
At the moment I use a stick for very short distances, but "LOAMIE" takes me everywhere else.
Ataxia, is a rare neurological condition. It is degenerative with NO cure. I have been diagnosed with Cerebella Ataxia, which affects the balance and co-ordination, this was discovered when I was about 34, now at 40 my condition is a lot worse, but I feel more active "at heart".
My motto is to keep a positive outlook, and I try and do as much as I can.
Loamie and I have achieved a few things, together, such as: travelling on a train, going on a boat trip, and going to the cinema... and yesterday, lit a match - a simple task I haven't been able to do for ages.
I attend Coleshill Social Centre, Llanelli once a week to study a computer course called CLAIT. And have gained many certificates of progress. The use of a computer has made communicating with people a lot easier and I am an active member of many on-line message boards.
I use a tricycle, to keep as mobile as possible.
I use the train and Taxis, to go to places of interest. Mainly visiting the cinema, in Cardigan.
In January I went abroad for the first time, ever. Went to Lanzarote, with my family - it was brilliant, hoping to go again next year, on my own.
Things that I still have to achieve are going on a bus and going on a plane, but I will overcome these as soon as I can.
I do have bad days but I also have good days. And so much still to do. I am not going to let the illness control my life.
Ataxia ruins nerves, ruins lives, but not mine. Not yet."