People affected by Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) will hear from experts when the British and Northern Ireland Polio Fellowships join forces to host an Information Day in Belfast on 4 June. A trio of eminent speakers will address visitors to the event at The Radisson Blu Hotel, including Professor Gareth Williams, British Polio Fellowship Ambassador and celebrated author of Paralysed with Fear: the Story of Polio.
Gareth, who is Professor of Medicine at the University of Bristol, will sign copies of his book which charts the history and impact of Polio as well as the various attempts to cure sufferers and eradicate the devastating disease. It also addresses the legacy of Polio and its contribution to disability rights and support. After its publication, leading medical journal The Lancet said Gareth’s book “should be read by anyone interested in an incredible story well told.” Professor Williams said he thoroughly enjoyed meeting Polio survivors face-to-face and hearing about their personal experiences and particularly their triumphs. “Having spent years researching and writing a history of Polio, it is always a pleasure to meet members at events such as this and to know what an important role the British Polio Fellowship plays in their lives,” he added.
British Polio CEO, Ted Hill MBE, said: “I’m delighted that Gareth is able to join us at what is an important juncture for British Polio Fellowship and Northern Ireland Polio Fellowship working more collaboratively together. Gareth’s message and his book will have particular resonance in Northern Ireland, as he spent a number of his early years in Northern Ireland and has a great of knowledge to share on the subject of Polio, with our members on both sides of the Irish Sea. I would like to thank Gareth for his continued support as an extremely active and effective Ambassador.
Prof Williams will be joined by Elaine Figgins, Director of the National Centre of Prosthetics and Orthotics at the University of Strathclyde, who is an authority on the late effects of Polio. Members will also hear from Jane McClenaghan of Vital Nutrition Ltd who will give a talk about eating for energy followed by a cookery demonstration using foods with nutrients that help to support muscle function. Members can also see a display of images from past Fellowship events and can add to the collection by visiting the free photo booth during the day and taking home a memento of the event.
The Post Polio Syndrome Information Day runs between 10am and 4pm and includes a two-course lunch. Free disabled parking facilities are also available. The Northern Ireland Polio Fellowship continues to raise awareness of the disease and to highlight the issues facing survivors who may be dealing with disabilities or who develop Post Polio Syndrome which can emerge decades later. They offer practical advice and support to the thousands of individuals and families affected and are always keen to welcome new members. For the first time, Northern Ireland was represented at the British Polio Fellowship’s National Indoor Games in Leicester on March this year which gave entrants the opportunity to compete in nine different disciplines.