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Martin Tolley’s Power Wheelchair Fund

March 29, 2016

Our editor recently met Martin Tolley. We request you to give what you can and if you can’t donate, to please share this post with someone you think might be able to.
Hello I’m Martin Tolley,
I need your help to carry on living an Independent life.

I’ve had an active life until 1996 when I was diagnosed with A/S (Ankylosing Spondylitis).

I had worked in Archaeology for around 20 years until my condition became too much for me to carry on working full time.

I worked  full time up and till 1996 when I was diagnosed with A/S (Ankylosing Spondylitis).

 I was told my condition had started twenty years earlier.

My spine fused in forward bent position which compresses my ribcage so breathing can be hard. I have lateral twisting of the spine, deformed vertebrae and a long history of back problems. For short distances I use a walking stick and when I’m in town I like to use my stroller if I can. All other journeys I now completely rely on using my wheelchair with the assistance of a P/A (personal assisstant) friends, family or neighbours.

I’m a campaigner for disability rights (as and when I’m able) and have been for around four years. I am also a member of several disability campaign groups.


My Condition/disability: Ankylosing Spondylitis.

 Ankylosing  Spondylitis  is an Insidious Chronic Inflammatory condition attacking the joint tissues and ligaments in close proximity to the joints. This results in excess bony growths (syndesmophytes). Which cause increasing joint stiffness and eventually fusion (ankylosis) of the effected joints. This most commonly occurs in the Spine, Sacroiliac joints, Hips and Shoulders, but can affect many other joints.


The symptoms of this disease in my case are constant Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, buttock, leg pain and Fatigue.

 My lifestyle is severely limited by this condition due to the irritability of my neck, back, hips. In short my lifestyle is dictated by my condition. I also use a walking stick to aid me to walk as I can no longer stand upright due to fusion of my spine, which has caused a forward stoop so I’m off balance and prone to falls,  I’m also reliant on my manual wheelchair to get around when my condition flairs up and for traveling outside of my home town.


I’m now dependant on a lifetime prescription of anti-inflammatories, pain killers and TNF (Tumour  Necrosis Factor) blocking injections.

 When attempting to walk short distances with the aid of a stick I have to take frequent rests, as this activity is painful due to pain in lower back and hips.
Also because of my stoop, my ribcage is compressed which makes me short of breath when attempting walking with my stick or stroller.

 However, adverse effects of my disease such as Ulcerative Colitis, Respiratory disease and Fractures due to falls can result in mortality (Death).

I have been forced to rely on public transport and help from my P/A (personal assisstant) friends and relatives as my only means of travel. (I only travel within the Ipswich area unless it is with someone who knows how travel affects me). Unfortunately the journeys themselves prove to be an aggravating factor.

 When weather conditions become dangerous (snow/ice), I do not go out until it has cleared.

All money raised will go towards the purchase of a powered wheelchair which will give me more freedom to carry on living an independent life and campaigning for disabled peoples rights here in the UK.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this and thankyou for donating to make this possible.

Martin Tolley. (Disability Rights Campaigner)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Suselle Boffey permalink
    March 29, 2016 3:33 pm

    Will your local wheelchair service help? When I required to renew my powered chair some years ago I was amazed to realise that I only had to respond negatively to 2 questions (are you able to weight bear? and can you self propel your chair?} in order to qualify for an NHS chair. My wheelchair service was exceptionally helpful in adjusting my new chair to meet my specific needs. It’s worth a try.

    • Martin Tolley permalink
      March 29, 2016 10:01 pm

      It’s a post code lottery here in Suffolk, A while back I needed some other equipment and ended up being assessed by Serco (under the guise of the NHS/Adult services) and what the nurse ended up wanting to give me was as useful as a wet paper bag with both ends open..
      If you want to take a look at the fund raising site this is the link;

  2. philipburdekin permalink
    March 29, 2016 10:13 pm

    Tried to get an electric wheelchair but because I managed to get into THIER office they said I can’t have one because I managed to get into the offices, how crap was that but I did get a new manual chair that I can’t use because I don’t have the strength in my arms so I need to rely on others, unfortunately. My illness goes from Rheumatoid arthritis to Dementia amongst others up heyho

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