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Sponsored walk with a difference in Victoria Park to raise awareness of ataxia

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:53 05 October 2010

A local support group for a little-known condition that can make people seem drunk will hold a sponsored walk with a difference in Victoria Park. The condition, ataxia, leaves most people unable to walk, so participants will be invited to wheel, walk, o

A local support group for a little-known condition that can make people seem drunk will hold a sponsored walk with a difference in Victoria Park.

The condition, ataxia, leaves most people unable to walk, so participants will be invited to wheel, walk, or wobble the course with wheelchairs or walking aids- however they can.

Jenny Kerbey has ataxia and recently set up a support group for North-East London, as part of the wider London branch of national charity Ataxia UK.

She said: "When I tell people that I have ataxia, I would like them to know what it is rather than sense them wishing they hadn't asked because it's so hard to explain! There are more people with ataxia than other neurological conditions, yet people have heard of these and not of ataxia. We want to change this."

More than 10,000 people in the UK have ataxia, but just seven per cent of the public have heard of the condition, which usually starts with slurred speech and loss of balance - often leading others to mistakenly think the person is drunk. As time goes on the incurable condition can leave people entirely dependent on others.

The 5 km circuit of Victoria Park starts at 12 noon on Sunday, 27 September 2009, at 12pm.

Further information about the London branch of Ataxia UK is available at www.ataxia.org.uk or 0845 644 0606.


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