LETTER: Raising awareness of polio

For many of those living with Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) in the UK, tomorrow (Wednesday October 22) is a day of hope. Some 120,000 people in this country are still living with the debilitating neurological condition that is PPS and The British Polio Fellowship have chosen this day to shout about it.

The charity is launching this year’s event at The House of Commons but the charity’s members will be wearing their unique wildflower badge across the country so if you see them in your town, please lend them your support. Wildflowers are a symbol of hope and despite the struggle of living with such a condition our members are survivors. The symptoms of PPS include increased muscle fatigue, a reduction in stamina as well as a greater sensitivity to the cold – something which will be made all the more unbearable as the impending winter looms.

My appeal is for more than money.

What we need is to raise awareness of a condition that affects the same number of people as Parkinson’s, but is much less well known. We need more knowledge of PPS among health care professionals and we are campaigning for the winter fuel allowance to be offered to those with conditions like PPS, who have a greater intolerance of the cold.

You can share messages of support on social media with the #PPSDay, as well as sharing the PPS day logo. This year marks The British Polio Fellowship’s 75th Anniversary and we have no better opportunity to ensure the 120,000 people with PPS never become Polio’s forgotten footnote.

Ted Hill MBE

CEO of The British Polio