International Ataxia Awareness Day – Ataxia is the Latin for ‘lack of order’ and is used to describe a condition that involves problems with coordination and balance. There is a whole spectrum of ataxia types and it is not as rare as you or I might assume.
In the UK approximately 10,000 people have some form of ataxia. However, there is only a 7% awareness of what it is.
Ataxia is often referred to as cerebellar ataxia. This is due to the fact that the part of the brain responsible for movement and coordination is called the cerebellum. Cerebral ataxias are often hereditary but ataxia is not necessarily genetic. Some causes of cerebellum ataxia include stroke, tumour, viral infection or head injury.
International Ataxia Awareness Day, is designed to raise valuable funds for Ataxia UK, while also raising awareness of the condition.
So you can do something as simple as wearing an awareness day t-shirt, post a link on your social network profile to the awareness day homepage, or put out flyers in your local library, hospital or supermarket.
You could also organise a quiz, film screening or set up an information stall somewhere public. Once people start wandering over to you, others will wonder what the fuss is about – use that curiosity to reel them in and show why raising awareness is so important!
Is there a cure? While some forms of the condition are manageable, there is no cure – yet. Ataxia UK will use your funding to research new treatments and ultimately a way of finding a cure.
If you can spare some time why not take part in a Wheely Wobbly Walk? Whether you walk, wheel or wobble, using a walking aid, bike or roller skates, you can do your part to get even more people involved.