Hello, my name is Roy Yamamoto. Like my mother and sister, I have one of the hereditary forms of ataxia called Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA-6).
My health problems started around age 50, the onset age of SCA-6. Back and eye problems came one after another. I had them treated but never thought they were related to this condition.
On a regular basis I used to bowl, play tennis, jog, golf, and work in, around and on the house. When i got double vision (about half of the people with ataxia have double vision) I had my DNA tested, which tested positive for ataxia. My health issues progressed to my heart, gall bladder, appendix, hip, etc. In retrospect, I now attribute all of these issues to ataxia. Also, I started to fall or trip on uneven surfaces more than usual, spill things more than usual and got fatigued faster than usual. I cannot do multiple things in a day, like I used to, only accomplishing one chore on any given day. My speech is getting very slurred and inaudible. I have to put reading material very close to my face in order to read. I can�t concentrate on a group conversation because interaction is fast. I feel as if I've aged 20 years in a few year�s time. Now I use a walker or walking poles.
My support group is observing Ataxia Awareness Day (September 25) on the 10th by having a Rock N Roll/Walk-a-Thon day to spread awareness of this condition with it�s symptoms. .
It is a fund raising event to give directly to the University of Chicago Hospital Ataxia Clinic to show our support for Dr. Christopher Gomez's research into correcting the defective gene. It is also a chance for us (we, in the support group) to meet casually in addition to the monthly meetings, and bring our caretakers to a social event. Whether or not you can give a donation, I appreciate your reading this. More information about ataxia can be found at either of these two Web sites
If you wish to make a donation for this cause, click on the link below (Any amount is appreciated):