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National Ataxia Foundation

Accelerate!

Bud Manley

I had a normal childhood growing up other than I was uncoordinated when it came to playing sports. I was bright, did well in school, and went on to receive a master’s degree.  I became a high school special education teacher and worked as a coordinator for physically disabled students. While working at the school, I met my future wife, the physical therapist who served my students. We started dating and because of her background she noticed right away that my gait was peculiar and I was not lifting my feet. She, of course, didn’t say anything at the time.  

Fast forward 27 years and two kids later, I began falling more often. While training for work I fell and broke my left hip. At that time, I considered it a freak accident, people fall, however, I wasn’t healing properly, and my wife encouraged me to see a neurologist. After many doctors and medical tests, and several years later, I was finally diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Ataxia. Over the next ten years, I took early retirement, taught at a university, subbed for my school district, and volunteered at a Christian organization to keep myself busy. 

Now, my wife and I have moved to the town where my daughter and son-in-law live. I attend a bi-weekly warm water wellness class, and a Parkinson’s dance class. I walk almost daily, I exercise at home, I lead a Family Support Group for NAMI, I am involved in my church, I enjoy my three grandsons, and I am helping my wife through cancer. Writing this reminds me how blessed I am! 

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