(Roger) Foley explains that when he was young, there were no tests for his illness, spinocerebellar ataxia type 14, a disease affecting the brain. While a sickly, clumsy, and fatigued child, he always pushed himself, wondering if he was not eating properly or if he was lazy. However, Foley’s symptoms got “bad” in his late teens and early twenties, causing him to see specialists. Foley received his diagnosis in 2005.

While working for the Royal Bank in Toronto, he had to use a cane and then a walker to move. Eventually, his health became such that he could no longer work, having to rely on long-term disability. Foley also had to begin “home care,” which he says from the beginning was “very inappropriate, very fractured, [and] inconsistent,” and he suffered abuse. “It got to the point where I became very suicidal and it was a nightmare and there was no way out.”

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