Martin Tolley’s Power Wheelchair Fund
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)