How Cheshire London forever changed one woman’s life

By age 29, Angie Ryan began using a walker. By age 31, she was in a wheelchair. Diagnosed with a progressive condition early in life, Angie has chosen to live a positive and cheerful life, full of passion and a desire to share her experiences.

Previously a registered nurse and successful businesswoman, Angie has always been committed to her work, even while using a walker and a wheelchair.

Friederich’s ataxia is a degenerative disease. So when Angie chose to leave her abusive marriage after almost 20 years, she needed to relearn how to live on her own.

Her increased physical challenges required her to seek out more care. Angie needed a place where she could both live independently, while getting the support she needed. “Cheshire came in. It was like they brought me back to life.”

After years of living independently and in a nursing home, it was Cheshire that helped orient Angie back into living on her own in the community.

Although assistance throughout the day and night is provided through government funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, weekly trips to swimming sessions with the help of a support worker would not be possible without help from Cheshire’s Everyday Dreams Fund.

“It touches and changes people’s lives,” says Angie.

The ability to work on her swimming has not only improved the symptoms of Angie’s osteoporosis, the chance to enjoy the water and feel safe have also given Angie countless opportunities over the past four years to celebrate her independence, one wheelchair spin at a time. “It’s times like these that really enhance my life.”

Angie gives talks at various Cheshire London staff meetings and sits on the Consumer Advisory Board, giving a voice to those who may not be able to express their own.

“Cheshire has changed my life. This fund allows me to dream and have a purpose.”