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Russ journey to eat, sleep and breath Zumba

Russ Welch is 35 years young, he’s been Zumba instructor for over a year now and still learning. He was born deaf and as a result he’s 85% deaf in both ears. He also has ankylosing spondylitis which affects and can limit the movement in his back.
‘My health has always been at the forefront of my difficulties, but I seem to manage well in my classes now due to Zumba enhancing my flexibility, I am surprisingly 10 cm’s more bendy!’ 

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Arthritis?! Isn’t that for old people? Well, no… My experience with ankylosing spondylitis

I felt like a huge weight came off my chest after making this video. It is important to be open and frank about the challenges we face. I hope to inspire others that suffer from any conditions to keep pushing and to not let it dictate them as a person. Climbing has become such a big part of my identity not only because of how fun it is, but also as a constant reminder that I have managed to persevere beyond what I thought capable of.

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The Butterfly Effect of Ankylosing Spondylitis

My Dad was recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. Having to deal with this as a family and accept that there is no cure has brought us closer. At first I thought there would be a huge overwhelming feeling of hopelessness amongst us all, everyone giving each other sympathetic knowing looks. But it’s been the complete opposite.

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Incurable, the word that changed my life

I sat at the other side of the desk to my rheumatologist, something I was used to by this point. But this wasn’t quite the normal visit. My mum sat slightly behind me, questioning the Doctor on what the solution was to all my problems. Nothing could prepare me for what I was about to hear. “This condition is incurable.” My heart sank.

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Doodles Dealing with Arthritis

When I learned about ankylosing spondylitis it was immediately made clear that it’s not simply “back pain”. I can relate. I’m so sick of people assuming I’ve just hurt my knees somehow. Yet, these personal frustrations have helped me realize how important it is to listen to people with different experiences, and not immediately try to fix them, but learn from them.

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Pink Elephants and World of Warcraft

I am Canadian and, well, here in Canada, we have maple syrup in abundance, and the glorious poutine which is chips smothered in gravy and cheese curds. Also, I’m HLA-B27 positive and this is my story.

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