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Meet Adam, Our October Gym Hero

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Adam is a member of our gym in Liverpool. In December 2009, at only 15 years old, Adam was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called Friedreich’s Ataxia. Adam tells us…

“Before I was diagnosed I was just a normal lad who loved playing sport – Friedreich’s Ataxia came as a huge shock.

Being told I would soon be wheelchair-reliant, which I now am most of the time, scared the hell out of me. I shouldn’t have been scared; using a wheelchair has improved my life so much. It’s all about adapting, a concept I really struggled with at first, and still do at times. But it’s fine to struggle occasionally, everyone does. I spent the first few years after my diagnosis wishing my condition away. I couldn’t focus at school, with my motivation to achieve good grades completely gone, eventually dropping out midway through my A-levels.

In the years since then, I’ve realised I have a right to live as full a life as any other person. I have a future. In November 2012, aged 18, I braved moving out of my parents’ house and got my own flat – where I still live independently today. I wanted to have the chance to do things myself while I could, afraid I would fall into a state of over-reliance on my parents if I didn’t do it. In September 2015, buoyed by my sense of independence, I went to college to do an access to higher education course in social science (Psychology, Sociology and Criminology) and now find myself about to start university! It’s something I could never have imagined a couple of years ago.

Coming to easyGym and maintaining my fitness is another huge part of my life now. I loved playing sport, as I mentioned, so replacing that with something has been vital for my mindset. If you’re in two minds about coming to the gym, for whatever reason, I Implore you to just do it. Who cares what other people think? Do what makes you happy. That goes for anything in life.

Finally, myself and a few friends who also have Ataxia have recently set up the North West Ataxia Support Group. We meet at Brain Charity, Norton Street Liverpool on the first Saturday of every month. Our numbers are always growing and it’s a great way of catching up and sharing advice with others in similar situations. We’re hoping to get a lot more fundraising events going soon and some very kind people have already taken part in events on our behalf. As well as those with Ataxia (or even those undiagnosed but showing symptoms) our group is very much for friends and family too. Basically, the more the merrier! If you’d like to get in touch, please do!”

Facebook Group: North West Ataxia Support Group
Email: adamgriffies94@hotmail.co.uk

We want to hear more moving stories of everyday Gym Heroes. If you or someone you’ve witnessed has achieved greatness, overcome immense challenges or gone above and beyond to help others achieve their goals then we want to hear about it. There’s a free 6 month membership in it for the winner. Nominate here!


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