What is Living with Ataxia?
Living with Ataxia is a dedicated patient-to-patient support community for families affected by Ataxia. Living with Ataxia is powered by BensFriends.org, patient support communities for rare diseases, and is run by volunteer moderators who have been affected with Ataxia.
Who can join Living with Ataxia?
If your family has been affected by Ataxia, consider Living with Ataxia as your second home. Living with Ataxia, as well as the rest of BensFriends.org’s patient communities, is free for members to join.
What is Ataxia?
The word “ataxia”, comes from the Greek word, “a taxis” meaning “without order or incoordination”. The word ataxia means without coordination. People with ataxia have problems with coordination because parts of the nervous system that control movement and balance are affected. Ataxia may affect the fingers, hands, arms, legs, body, speech, and eye movements. Ataxia is often used to describe a symptom of incoordination which can be associated with infections, injuries, other diseases, or degenerative changes in the central nervous system.
This site is a virtual community intended to be a safe place for patients and family members as young as age 12, to visit for information, discussion, venting and mutual support. Members come from many backgrounds. Some have a strong religious faith, and others no faith; some are children and others adults, rich and poor, graduate educated or taught by life. Our common denominators are that we share a life journey, and we try to help each other.
Though we get occasional visits from medical doctors, the site is not routinely supported by medical professionals. Nobody here can diagnose you or tell you what your treatment choices “should” be. We might inform your choices by sharing individual experiences and information developed by study as lay people. Living with Ataxia is not intended to replace the advice or treatment of licensed medical professionals. Readers should validate any information they take away from here, against the experience of a licensed medical doctor. Site owners and moderators are not legally responsible for the accuracy of information shared on the site.
Visitors should also be aware that our discussion forums and groups are publicly accessible and frequently searched by Google. Thus your speech here should be considered “public”. If you’re tempted to write something about another person that you wouldn’t say to their face, then we counsel you to think first. Speech can be consequential.
Living with Ataxia is supported by unpaid volunteer moderators who validate and register new members and monitor ongoing discussions, photo postings and Blogs. Very often, moderators are themselves patients or family members of patients. Most of the time, moderators tend to keep a low profile, except in their roles as members of the community who may be well-informed about the state of medicine and research.