A Mossley man is reclaiming his active lifestyle after being diagnosed with a rare condition.

Dave Howarth was diagnosed with Spastic Paraparesis, a rare disorder that causes gradual weakness and muscle spasms in the legs.

He said: “It took two years for me to get a diagnosis, it was a really hard time for me and I was very frustrated.”

Before the diagnosis Dave led a very active lifestyle teaching Jujitsu, walking and cycling. He completed the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in just over four hours.

He said: “I tried a class at Active Copley and the instructor noticed I was struggling and introduced me to Kim from the Live Active Service and I haven’t really looked back.”

The exercise referral service, for people with long-term conditions, created a bespoke programme for Dave to follow as well as classes and regular meet-ups to check in.

He said: “They give me so much motivation and support that keeps me going. My programme has changed as I’ve improved and challenged myself. I went back to the same class I started with and straight away the instructor could see the difference.”

Dave now attends nine classes a week including specialist Live Active ones, Aqua Aerobics and Cycle Workouts as well as the gym and physio. He has lost over a stone since joining Live Active.

He said: “It’s taken two years to get here and now I am I have to learn to accept it and get on with what I am able to do which is more than I thought. My muscles are definitely feeling stronger so it is helping.

“I have so much more confidence in myself, I feel better and less stressed and I’ve made quite a few new friends too.”