QVC presenter Julia Roberts’ decision to ‘come out’ as one of the thousands of people in Britain living with the effects of Polio or Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) is a welcome move that will give hope to all those facing the daily struggle to live normal lives in the shadow of Polio.
Like many members of the British Polio Fellowship, Julia was diagnosed at just 14 months old and through the determination of her parents has gone on to enjoy a highly successful life and career. No one ever dreamed she was one of the over 120,000 in Britain living with Polio and its effects.
With the help of her parents, who would not accept her condition could not be improved, Julia was taught to swim and this exercise plus dancing classes and self-belief strengthened her leg muscles so she could walk without a calliper- a slight limp the only outward sign of a life touched by Polio.
While Julia and inspiring figures like her demonstrate that there is hope for people and their families living with Polio, not everyone can succeed on their own. We are here to see that they don’t have to. The British Polio Fellowship offers practical help, support and information not only to them, but to carers and health professionals too. We are also here to listen and can be contacted free on 0800 043 1935 by email at email@example.com or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship