"For someone with ataxia the world changes."
During the 1980's, stories and articles by John B. Gallant, Jr. were published in Generations. He died in 1988 and his daughter, the next generation, Tracey Gallant Balis is continuing in his footsteps by writing of the challenges of living with ataxia. This is an edited version of an article written by John Gallant for the May 1983 issue of Generations followed by Tracey's story.
As a hereditary ataxia patient I want to pass on to you my thoughts concerning my children. I have three; a boy, 19, who is in the Air Force, a boy, 18, who graduated from high school this year and a girl of 15 who is starting senior high school this year. She is still full of wonder and love. It is difficult at times to deal with the guilt I have concerning the fact that they are all at risk for ataxia. There is no test to give, no way to tell, maybe for years, if they have this disease. * If they do, I have given it to them. That is hard to deal with.
One thing that I did was set up an appointment with my neurologist and my kids. He very carefully explained to …