A North West Kent writer is raising money for The British Polio Fellowship by donating all the profits from her debut book to the organisation. Set during WW2, Barbara Blackston Huntley’s memoir, Forgive Me for Not Shaking Hands, details her struggles growing up with her arm in a cast as the result of Polio and not being able to attend school due to the unorthodox early treatment of the disease.
The book charts Barbara’s early life and her battle to receive a proper education, as no school in her area would take a child with Polio who wore a splint. The book also recounts the struggle that her parents faced with local authorities as well as the helpful intervention of a notable up and coming politician, Margaret Roberts – better known by her married name Margaret Thatcher.
“Each one of our members has their own experiences and memories of Polio, but Barbara’s are extraordinary in so many ways,” said Ted Hill, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship. “We’re privileged that she has chosen to donate all of the profit from her book to the charity, but what it does more than anything is shine a light on a time where people who had Polio really were disadvantaged due to their physical disabilities.”
Recently Barbara’s original plaster cast from 1942 was featured in the BBC2 documentary, The Battle to Beat Polio. It was pointed out in the film that plastering the arm prevented any chance of recovery at this stage, which demonstrated the frailties of medical treatment around the disease during that time. The story of the cast was also included in The British Polio Fellowship’s bulletin magazine in July and the charity played a big part in what turned out to be a very full life despite her early setbacks.
The book may be purchased by contacting the publisher/distributor by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01322 227712 or filling out this order form and returning it to the address stated and is priced at £7 + p&p. All the profits from sales of the first edition will benefit the charity.