Ryan Bearpark

Name: Ryan Bearpark
Age: 20 years
Diagnosed: Age 15
Detail: Ankylosing spondylitis has affected my family within the last three generations; my late grandfather and my uncle were also sufferers. I remember my mother telling me how it took years for both to be diagnosed, one such treatment offered to my grandfather was a full body cast in order to try and stop any unwanted growth affecting his posture. My uncle, after being told his back soreness was due to overworking, spent 8 years waiting for his diagnosis by which point his movement was severly restricted. Both suffered from an inability to turn their heads, to bend over and struggle to walk; it amazes me that they both managed to work as mechanics for as long as they did.
To understand the pain they must have been going through is impossible. Not only physical pain, but mental pain and this affects me greatly. The idea of people potentially mocking me if I were to suffer with the extreme curvature of my spine my family has previously experienced initially upset me. However, now I have a more positive outlook on the condition thanks to the many brave faces I have seen on here. Your stories inspire me to accept any physical changes that may occur, but these will only lead to strengthening me psychiologocially. I will forever remember to keep smiling and enjoy myself as much as possibly, although it may not include drawing moustaches on myself as seen in my picture!
Thank you for inspiring me,
Ryan Bearpark.
United Kingdom

One Response to “Ryan Bearpark”

  1. Dear Ryan,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. What you speak of in your story about your grandfather and uncle is one of the reasons, I wanted to start this site. Not only to bring us together in awareness but to offer each of us understanding and hope, but my strongest desire is that the younger generation and newly diagnose with not loose hope and get lost in the despair but seek answers seek knowledge seek treatment and make the best out of their lives. I love your moustache don’t ever erase it.
    Sincerely Cookie

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