AS Warrior: Garry Wallace - Challenging himself to help raise awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis
The Canadian Spondylitis Association is a not-for-profit organization with the mission and commitment to be the leader in Canada providing support, education and advocacy for the spondyloarthritis (SpA) patient community.
There are 400,000 people living in Canada who are diagnosed with some form of SpA condition; and a large number of Canadians who have not been diagnosed. The longer people live with these conditions without a diagnosis the more severe irreversible damages are experienced.
The CSA develops programs and resources to bring awareness of the conditions to those with a diagnosis, their loved ones, the healthcare professionals who treat patients and the general public. We hope to provide funding for research in the future. The funds raised from this personal challenge will support our programs and resources.Meet AS Warrior: Garry Wallace
What is this campaign about ?
An attempt by my teammate and myself to rally the length of India (2,000 kms or the same distance as from Toronto to Houston, Texas) driving a 7 hp, three wheeled vehicle called a tuk tuk. This is NOT a Sunday afternoon drive. India has one of most dangerous road systems in the world with a traffic fatality every 4 minutes. Wandering cows, speeding lorries, poor road conditions, overloaded buses that stop seemingly randomly, a healthy disrespect for the rules of the road by most drivers and 1.3 billion pedestrians mean that driving is precarious and finishing the rally is far from a given.
My teammate and I will begin this adventure on January 2 in Bangalore, Southern India and (hopefully) complete the rally 2 weeks later in Jaisamler, Northern India.
I have suffered with Ankylosing Spondylitis for over 30 years so I know how painful and debilitating this disease can be. I am lucky as my AS is under control and I can live a fairly normal life but many sufferers with AS cannot. My gratitude to the good work that CSA does to provide much needed services and information to my fellow sufferers and thankfulness for my personal good fortune inspired me to find a way to play it forward.
This fund-raiser is my way of doing that.
In the early stages of my life with AS I tried to control the disease solely through medication. But medication was not enough and the pain and the symptoms of the AS were getting worse and spreading to other parts of my body. Then I discovered the restorative power of yoga. It was a life changer for me. Yoga plus a daily routine of anti-inflammatory medication changed my life.
My AS is under control, in fact in the summer 2017 I was able to hike over 600 kms on the Camino de Santiago. I feel blessed and I want to do something for other sufferers, grow the understanding of this disease and perhaps show others how to lead as a full a life as possible.
Ride along with us
I am hopeful my personal challenge(s) will inspire you to do something similar. A personal challenge can range from tending your garden to doing a fundraiser as I am.
The goal of AS Warriors is to bring awareness of AS and achieve personal bests. Become a Warrior.
I would love to have you along for the ride! I will be updating my blog with text and photo's regularly along with online mapping so you can track my progress!