The short film, In My Bones: Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, begins with a voice over...
"Ankylosing Spondylitis...it's a bit of a mouthful, right. It took me a while to say it let alone spell it when it first crashed into our lives just over three years ago...Three years. It's not really that long is it? It feels it. It feels like a lifetime...That's the thing with diseases like AS, it alters time, prolongs it, almost stops it. And not for the good..."
The beautifully crafted, sensitive and empathetic film, created on a zero budget, features people from all walks of life - from a young skateboarder to an older policeman - who suffer with AS and are coping with it. The film covers their stories, interspersed with facts and possible remedies.
AS is described by a doctor as an "Inflammation of the spine and the turning to bone of what should be soft tissue between the bones and the spine...The body attacks itself essentially along the spine..."
People with the condition describe what it's like living with AS... "On a bad day I struggle to get out of bed, have a bath, make a meal...wading through the day...unbearable to drive...fatigue...mood swings..."
Sophie Ibbotson, the Moston-based director and writer of In My Bones, also features in the film, as her dad, a policeman, has the condition... "One minute he's running 10k, the next he's in so much pain he couldn't put his socks on", she says.
Others tell of the problem with diagnosis - one person waited eight years – and some recount their feelings on being diagnosed... "It's a grieving process; you're grieving for a life that you've lost..."
However, there is also optimism, as those featured explain how they are coping and living as normally as possible... "Try and be strong, it's not the end of the world, although it might seem like that at the start..."
In My Bones has already been watched by 55,000 people on YouTube and Facebook and is absolutely essential viewing for anyone who either has AS, wants to know more about it, or wants to see how to pronounce it...
As well as Sophie, the half hour film has also been created with Geordie but adopted-local cinematographer Annabelle Marshall, and Salford cinematographer Antony Morris...
"Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic arthritic condition which affects 325,000 people in the UK and millions worldwide yet receives little attention and suffers from ambiguity in relation to its treatment" says Antony.
"This frustration at the lack of tangible information inspired us to make In My Bones: Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis after the director Sophie's dad was diagnosed three years ago in Moston" he adds "We hope the film will be able to reach a wider audience..."
In My Bones: Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis is available to view on YouTube – click here