Walking the 2018 Sligo Camino - 36Kms on July 7th
Alan & Nathalie - Walking together to battle AS!
Alan Taylor is in his late thirties and has a diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). AS is a form of arthritis which primarily affects the spine. As the bones in the spine fuse together, this results in a rigid spine, causing pain and stiffness from the neck down to the lower back.
As Nathalie describes it - it took some time for Alan to get a diagnosis of AS. The disease first appeared with its full angry rage of pain after a winter viral infection. And it never seemed to really go away. Alan suffered massively during this time, and still endures chronic pain when flare ups strike. These cause body pain, neck pain, stiffness and can also mean severelyswollen hands. Getting out of bed or getting dressed was, and remains very much a struggle.
Eventually, with the diagnosis came some relief through appropriate pain management. But Alan also knows that he will live with this ailment for the rest of his life. There is no cure for AS at present.
There are some days when the darkness of what this disease can do, overtakes all of their emotions. But their attitude is to stay positive and push through it together!
Alan & Nathalie are not giving in.
They are going to push through it together. On the 7th of July, they plan to walk 36km from Dromahair, Co Leitrim to Coolaney, Co Sligo, along the Sligo Camino. Their walk will be very challenging. They'll follow tracks, trails and forest paths, up and down hills, before reaching the finishing line at the end of a very long day.
Why are they doing this? As Nathalie puts it:
"Well, this will be very tough for Alan especially, and for me - I'll be counting the blisters! But we want to raise awareness about this type fo arthritis, about AS. We also want to help Arthritis Ireland raise funds, so they can continue to help others living with arthritis.
And we really want to demonstrate to anyone with this type of arthritis that anything is possible. To encourage them to keep getting up, to keep trying and to stay positive!
With your help we can build a better world for people living with arthritis today. And a world without arthritis tomorrow.
We would really appreciate any support you can give. by donating on our Altruism page - please click here to visit it.
Many thanks, Nathalie & Alan."