What Does Community Mean to You?
• Join Post-Polio Canada®, a program of March of Dimes Canada in recognizing Polio Awareness Month
Many Canadians believe that polio is merely a part of Canadian history – a forgotten disease. But for the thousands of Canadians living with the virus’ late effects in the form of post-polio syndrome, polio is a very real part of their every day lives.
Little understood by most doctors, in the 1980's medical researchers confirmed that many survivors of polio would develop post-polio syndrome (PPS) later in life, a condition with symptoms that include weakness, fatigue, breathing and swallowing problems and muscle atrophy. In fact, it is estimated that up to 50 to 70 percent of polio survivors may experience the disabling effects of post-polio syndrome 25 to 45 years after their initial recovery from polio. There are approximately 125,000 Canadian polio survivors.
Post-Polio Canada®, a program of March of Dimes Canada, helps provide education and support to polio survivors, their loved ones, caregivers and healthcare professionals across the country. With October designated as Polio Awareness Month, the program has increased its efforts to educate the public about post-polio syndrome.
This year’s theme is: What Does Community Mean to You? We want to hear from you! March of Dimes is looking for polio survivors to share their stories of how their community helps them live with post-polio syndrome. Community can be defined as family, friends, your town, or post-polio support group.
“The benefits polio survivors receive from their community members, family, friends and fellow support group members are immeasurable,” says Donna Mackay, Associate Director of Community Integration and Engagement for March of Dimes Canada. “We hope to connect survivors to each other by sharing success stories.”
To share your story, please contact Polio Canada by calling the Warmline toll-free at 1-888-540-6666 or
Post-Polio Canada and hundreds of local volunteers across the country are working to raise awareness of the late effects of polio and post-polio syndrome. The program is looking to archive the stories of polio survivors across Canada and ensure they are not forgotten to time. The organization is dedicated to preserving the memories of polio survivors, their families and those that cared for them, and will be posting the stories on its website and in its literature.