I was diagnosed with spinal arthritis (Facet Joint) in 2006 after several years of pain which left be unable to walk properly and in need of a wheelchair at times.
Thankfully with the support of my loved ones I was helped back into education and eventually a professional career in Aerospace Engineering.
It was here that I decided to become involved with Union activities and trained firstly as an Equalities rep and then further specialised as a Disability Champion, putting what I had learnt with my own disability in the workplace to help others.
I have since helped colleagues gain benefits in DLA, PIP, Blue Badges, had Reasonable Adjustements made for them at work, helped improve communication between management and employee, helped with Motability vehicle choice, etc.
In 2010 I found out I had Klinefelter's Syndrome which changed things for me somewhat, it explained why I had arthritis so young and it gave me a new outlook on life.
It also gave us our adopted daughter, so I can be thankful.