A.S. Face 0027 : Joe Coleman

My name is Joe Coleman.  Im from Aberdeen in the north of Scotland.  I’ve been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitus for around 5 years but had problems since I was about 12. I spend a lot of time in denial about AS and lived off an unhealthy amount of painkillers and other self medicators to keep my active lifestyle alive.  Eventually it got to a point where I was unable to do even the simplest tasks without major pain.  Never one to complain, I continued on doing the best I could with work and socializing while my physical activity almost ground to a halt.  Thanks to a very supportive family, rheumatologist and girlfriend I started taking my disease more seriously and got myself on the path to Biological medicine which I eventually got prescribed just over a year ago in the form of the TNA inhibitor Humira.  This has marked a massive turning point in my lifestyle and gave me my precious movement back.  Since then I’ve been determined to use my body for the purpose that it was intended, having a good time.
Skateboarding is a passion of mine “Arent you a bit old for that?”.  We never grow out of having fun.  Despite my pincushion lifestyle I don’t resent or
deny my AS as I used to.  It’s given me a balanced, humble view of the world and has forced me to be a patient and appreciative person.  Always look on the bright side eh…?
Aberdeen in Bonnie Scotland

10 Responses to “A.S. Face 0027 : Joe Coleman”

  1. Dear Joe,
    I absolutely love that picture, amazing! I am glad that you have a supportive family and have decided to take charge of your health. I am happy that the treatments are giving you some quality in your life. I know that remicade gave me back mine. You keep on skating, till you can’t do it anymore. Take lots of videos and pictures!
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. As Joe’s brother and close friend I don’t have enough words to express how proud I am of him. After his treatment the difference in his attitude, approach to life and lifestyle has been astounding and I can’t even begin to imagine the insufferable pain he has been through to get where he is today. Nothing stops him from reaching and always achieving his goals. Even in his darkest days he would always have a smile and to hear even an utterance of the faintest idea of the pain he was going through was a very rare occurrence. The Gibran quote on the site absolutely epitomises him and his journey with his condition. Rather than hate it he has embraced it fully. I would hail my brother as a shining example of one who has ridden through the hell of Ankylosing Spondylitus and emerged bravely and proudly with all the scars to prove it. The scars he has earned from all those falls from his board aren’t anything on the scars in his heart from his crippling condition. And look at him now. I am extremely proud of my brother and hope that everyone reading this with Ankylosing Spondylitus has a brighter future ahead of them. We cannot change anything unless we fully understand it.

    • Dear Sam,

      I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you would take time to read this and then comment. Sadly I have found that many of us in the Ankylosing Spondylitis Community do not have the support from family, as such I have witnessed so far on this site. My hope is to not only bring awareness and offer people a platform to honestly express themselnes in whatever capcity they choose, but allows them a way to communicate with their loved ones, maybe our words will be the words they “hear.” Thank you for making today beautiful.
      Sincerely Cookie

      • Hi Cookie,

        It’s great what you’ve been doing here and you’ve collected a warm and often heart breaking collection of stories from people across the globe. I wish you every luck in your cause and hope to start reading more good news stories on this site. More understanding is obviously needed and you’re doing a great job maintaining this community. Kudos.

  3. Dear Sam,
    Thank you for your kind words. It makes the times that are difficult doing this easier to handle. You and another has inspired me to add a section on here that families can submit their stories about their loved ones or their lives with loving someone with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Thank you so much.
    SIncerely Cookie

  4. Thanks Cookie
    I really like reading about all the other AS sufferers and their stories. I’l keep the skating up for as long as I can! Glad the Remicade is working for you and you have your life for yourself.

    jcoleman866 said this on October 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

  5. You are most welcome. I enjoy it too. It has been such an honor to do this! Thank you Joe.

    Cookie Has AS said this on October 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm

  6. Hi Joe

    I just spotted a fellow Aberdonian…. and you’re on Humira….. I am so glad to hear that it’s given you movement back. I too have found a difference and although I have small (but painful) flare-ups and suffer from exhaustion, I can almost move around to full capacity again. Let’s just hope it continues to be a success for us and that one day, a cure will be found and we can all be well again 🙂

    I may well see you at the AnkSpond clinic or Rheumy appointment.

    A big thanks to Cookie for making more people aware of AS.


  7. Hi Joe , My name is Jorge Guzman and I´m from México, It´s so nice to hear that you are geting much better , My youngest brother, my older son and I have AS , but we are taking biological(Infliximab) medicine having excellents results. My son use to be a very active and healthy boy , he used to play soccer, but suddenly at the age of 14 he began having severe flare-up , he couldn´t move at all , he got so depressed . He started on infliximab medicine two years ago . since then he has a normal life with no pain . He likes skateboarding too
    As I can see you have a very positive attitude, I thankyou for sharing your story I wish you the best .

  8. Hi joe,
    It’s really good to hear your story.
    I was diagnosed with ank spond about a month ago and, as you were, am basically in denial about the whole thing.
    Reading this website is one of the first things i’ve done, and its pretty daunting to see lists and lists of peoples drugs and difficulties!
    Like you i’m super active, was competitively rowing at university until 2 months ago when it became too painful and danced to high levels since i was tiny- i’ve been really concerned that i’ll have to give up everything like that that i love, but you seem to suggest the TNA inhibitor has helped you keep stuff up/ recover abilities you lost?

    Glad that things are working out for you- thank you for the hope it’s given me!

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