Graeme and his wife, polio survivor Joan, are travelling from Victoria to add their voices to our Election Campaign in Canberra on Wednesday 26th June 2013. Graeme is coming to Canberra in order to support Joan and Polio Australia.

What is a memorable childhood experience?

I did not have polio, and did not know anything about it until I met Joan. The most memorable experience for me was when Joan organised an information day about polio. Her mother and sisters attended and so did our son, Mark. This gave me and the family some insight into the way that polio had affected Joan as a child, and the way things might go in the future. This day was very emotional for Joan’s mother and sisters who had never really talked about the way polio affected them. I think this day was a turning point for the family.

How have the late effects of polio impacted on you?

I have had to realise how the late effects of polio have impacted Joan. I have had to think about the way we do various activities like, gardening, house work, socialising, the places we go and how we take our holidays. I have to walk slower so that Joan can keep up. We purchased a mobility scooter which has been a great success, and it has given Joan a greater level of independence.

Why are you going to Canberra?

For the same reasons as Joan – “We have to educate our politicians about the issues and needs of polio survivors today. Polio Australia funding is urgently needed to advocate and educate our medical providers, the wider community and even polio survivors ourselves, in order to obtain appropriate support to maintain as much independence as possible. Funding providers need to understand that while post polio syndrome occurs later in life it is not a normal part of ageing, and aged care assistance doesn’t cover the associated costs. It is an on-going and degenerative disability.”

Please send Graeme a message of support for his Canberra campaign by making a comment below.


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