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!’
I’ve always loved animals; from the smallest bugs to the biggest mammals. So having pets was an obvious goal but I’d never anticipated how it would affect my life with ankylosing spondylitis.read more
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.read more
I recently headed off backpacking around Europe with my friend. You can see our route on the picture above. I was a bit apprehensive. It’s the first time I’ve travelled so far, I’d be travelling across 6 different countries, and the first time I’ve backpacked.read more
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.read more
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.read more
Nowadays, it’s a widely accepted fact that smoking tobacco is harmful to your health in so many ways. In fact, an estimated 80,000 people die each year from diseases caused by smoking in the UK alone. Several scientific research studies have found tobacco smoking can worsen your ankylosing spondylitis, especially if you’re one of the heavy smokers.read more
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.read more
After looking at maps for hours, I developed a desire to go out there, explore and discover. So, in 2009 I decided to cycle from Switzerland to China. Since then I’ve cycled more than 40,000km, crossed 28 countries, exchanged thousands of smiles and fulfilled many incredible dreams!
However, my world was shaken last year. I discovered a new companion in my life called ankylosing spondylitis.
“Move towards the ball!” shouted my friends, as I struggled to limp towards their simple passes on the football pitch.
I was just eighteen, but I felt like I had the body of an 80-year-old. I couldn’t play sport. I couldn’t walk up the stairs properly on some days. It even hurt to take deep breaths. Anything which involved some degree of movement – I couldn’t do it.
Looking back, it was obvious that something was seriously wrong with me.read more