Evening Times

positive attitude after shock diagnosis

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with around 30 other sufferers.

Joanna is studying drama at school and hopes she can help change people’s perception­s of disability by fulfilling her dream of becoming an actress.

She said: “I would love to be an actress but for now I’m just happy to take one day at a time.”

The teenager is preparing to undergo surgery in January to correct a painful curvature of her spine.

Joanna’s mum Kate, who works in retail, said: “It’s really hard for her but she always tries to look on the bright side.

“We were at an 18th birthday party recently and I knew what was going through her mind.

“It’s also quite hard for me because I know we have the gene.

“My hope is that in the future she will be able to live independen­tly.”

For more informatio­n about Ataxia visit website www.ataxia.org.uk

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