You may be wondering why I chose to write about Health & Disability. Well, in a nutshell, I live with a disability and other health issues and I want to do all I can to help others like me and to keep everyone informed about developments.
Before we go any further, let me introduce myself. My name is Ian Franks and I was born on November 8, 1952. I have enjoyed a career in journalism and public relations, really two sides of the same coin. I am married to Lisa, who was born and brought up in New York City. We married in 2011, after we both gained divorces from our previous partners, and moved to live in Spain in November 2015. The main picture shows the area in which we now live.
I was born in England in the village of Chelsfield, in what was then Kent, but from the age of four my parents had moved our family to the nearby town of Orpington. From 1964 to 1970, I attended Cray Valley Technical High School, in Sidcup, leaving at the end of the Lower VI to start my very first job as a trainee reporter at a local newspaper in Woolwich, south east London.
During my newspaper career, I have undertaken so many general news and specialist roles that they are just too many to list here. However, they culminated in being both a sub-editor and Rural Affairs Editor of a weekly regional newspaper group in North Wales, of which the lead newspaper was the Caernarfon Herald. The ultimate accolade for me was being named Wales Farming Journalist of the Year in 1999. Nowadays, apart from writing and runnng this site, I am Chief Patient Columnist with MultipleSclerosisNewsToday.com – something I can do from the comfort of my own armchair.
As a volunteer, I spent more than 10 years as an adult leader in the Scout movement, including seven as a District Commissioner, before joining St John Ambulance and being appointed Regional Public Relations Officer for North West Wales. For the last two years, I have been Secretary of MS Synergy Independent Support Group Charity.
Oh yes, I almost forgot. As I said earlier, I live with a disability – and that is multiple sclerosis. Owing to MS, my mobility is impaired and have to use a wheelchair to travel more than a few yards. But please don’t pigeon-hole me as an ‘MS sufferer’ or a ‘disabled writer’ because I am not. I am a writer who lives with a disability and who likes to concentrate on his abilities. Please look at my ‘CAN do attitude’ page for more about that.
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