After Marc started struggling with everyday tasks, he decided to see a GP. It took one to two years for an ataxia diagnosis.
Coming to terms with my diagnosis was difficult. I was a former junior national champion represented team GB on a junior and senior level in diving. I then retired and struggled on simple tasks; walking down the stairs, carrying a cup of coffee. So, I decided to see a GP, I have only just accepted the fact that I have ataxia and I’m 35 now.
I was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia at around 21 years old. From seeing my GP for the first time, to receiving the news of my condition, it took one to two years in total. I went to see a specialist after my diagnosis and although I received a lot of information, it didn’t help my current situation, I still don’t know what I should or should not do.
Despite the medical professionals having good intentions, the whole process was difficult. But now I am based in the north, the team at Sheffield Specialist Ataxia Centre have been incredible, from the ataxia nurses through to the specialists. I am now happier and comfortable that they have my back. It took 11 years to see a physiotherapist, and the Sheffield team told me I was doing well – I broke down in tears because I have never been told that.
I’m wobbly but I am not using a walking aid or a wheelchair. I am a high-performance diving coach for team GB. I also have joined a CrossFit gym at Utopia in Morley Leeds. This has helped me become stronger physically and mentally.