Evening Times

16-year-old Joanna honoured by police for

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sad days but I always try to think that there are people worse off than me.

“I have really good friends and they don’t treat me any differentl­y.

“I don’t think many people have heard of Ataxia. I would like to try to raise more awareness about it.”

Ataxi is an incurable and largely untreatabl­e condition that affects 10,00015,000 people in the UK. However, studies have shown only around 7% of the public are aware of it.

It is often genetic, meaning parents can pass it on unknowingl­y, and degenerati­ve, affecting balance and possibly also affect speech and vision – though Joanna’s brother

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 ??  ?? Joanna shows off her bravery awards, left, and relaxes with her pet dog
Joanna shows off her bravery awards, left, and relaxes with her pet dog

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