Category: Ataxia UK

Posted on 19.12.2023

Yasmina is the star of our Christmas video this year.  She is supported by two of the four Childlife partner charities – Ataxia UK who offer invaluable advice and support to families affected by ataxia and fund vital research into finding a cure, and the National Children’s Bureau, who amongst their many projects, spearhead the FLARE advisory group, which you can read more about here.

Yasmina is 14 years old, from South-East London and was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) just before her ninth birthday. Her symptoms began when she was four years old, and by the age of seven, she could no longer take part in physical activities at school such as P.E, and sports day.  She struggled to keep up with other children and she fell a lot, and her mobility significantly began to worsen as the ataxia progressed. When she started swimming lessons, she was told she could not swim because she was ‘disabled’, but Yasmina persisted, and is now a highly proficient swimmer.

She began horse riding as a form of therapy to strengthen her muscles and improve the symptoms of her curved spine, due to scoliosis.  As Yasmina continued her horse-riding therapy, she became aware of a female para-equestrian, Helen Kearney, who had achieved a silver medal in equestrian dressage at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Like Yasmina, she had also been diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia, and this representation has inspired her to strive to achieve the same success.

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