ANTONIO ALARCON is a happy go lucky 44-year-old council worker in the Fuengirola-Mijas area. After finishing school in Mijas he studied computing for two years.
Nothing out of the ordinary there I hear you say! Well precisely.
Apart from the fact that Antonio Alarcon Rueda suffers from the incurable Fahr syndrome and is unable to speak or walk. He suffered cerebral palsy 20 months after he was born, and again a little time later.
Fahr syndrome sufferers see gradual deterioration of the motor functions, dementia, mental retardation, dysarthria (a disease of the speech), spastic cerebral palsy, (where muscles permanently tighten), eye problems and athetosis (involuntary, slow, sinuous movements of the limbs).
Far from getting discouraged, life smiles at Antonio every day thanks to his desire to live, willpower, his work, hobbies and the support of his family.
In February 2013, Mijas Town Hall hired him to keep an eye on the Las Lagunas area, where he patrols to ensure the streets are kept clean and locals recycle.
With the aid of his electric wheelchair, a WhatsApp enabled mobile and a board of words, he travels through the streets every afternoon taking pictures of problems and informing the relevant departments via WhatsApp.
Despite the difficulty of the movements to write, he puts more and more effort in every day and unlike many youngsters these days, he does not make spelling mistakes.
Antonio proudly points out: “Without my parents and siblings, I wouldn’t have got ahead. I won’t let the disease be an obstacle to a normal life.”
“Working, I make sure that the streets are clean, free of dog poops, and that everyone is recycling. Also that businesses take the trash out within the rubbish pick up time,” he explained.
Another proud facet, although he has been forced to leave it, due to his physical deterioration: “I’ve painted over 200 pictures between 1995 and 2010 and sold them. Many of them are in Scotland, Wales, Denmark, France or Germany.”
Antonio Alarcon is a shining example of overcoming disability for all of us.