Roughly 10, 000 people suffer from Ataxia in the United Kingdom (that number will decrease if the Scottish become independent in September) which doesn’t sound a lot when you think that the population of Great Britain is in excess of 63 Million. The mathematicians amongst you will have worked out that approximately only 0.012% of Britons have Ataxia, which means that I am one of the lucky few!
It is no surprise therefore that a recent YouGov survey found that only 9% of British people had heard of Ataxia and most could not say exactly what it was. Ataxia UK (the main charity to do with fundraising & awareness) were appalled by the findings so teamed up with photographer Rankin, designer Paul Belford and TBWA London to come up with a hard-hitting poster campaign to increase public knowledge.
The campaign includes five different people with Ataxia (either Friedreich’s or Cerebellar) and gives a visual representation of how the condition affects the signals that the brain receives. Also, there is writing beneath the image that briefly explains the condition so people instantly find out what Ataxia is. It is part of human nature to be inquisitive so hopefully anyone who sees the posters will be desperate to find out more.
Earlier, I joked that I am one of the lucky few with Ataxia. Well I was just doing some reading for this post and was shocked to discover two of the people in the campaign are siblings. I was even more horrified when I found out that there are six of them in total and three of them have FA. Talk about bad luck.
I always appreciate when people share my post with friends but I’d like everyone who reads this to get behind the campaign, whether that be through social networking (#AttackItBack), putting up posters in your local area (http://www.ataxia.org.uk/news.php/310/help-attack-ataxia-back)
or using good old-fashioned word of mouth. When asked what is wrong with me, I’m fed up of explaining what exactly Friedreich’s Ataxia is. It would make my life much easier if people automatically understood the word Ataxia.
Raising awareness and making the world a less ignorant place is just as important as searching for that illusive cure in my opinion so please #AttackItBack (http://www.ataxia.org.uk/news.php/306/The%20invisible%2010,000%20who%20demand%20to%20be%20seen)
Bye for now!