FILM producer Jonathan Cavendish, whose new film, Breathe, tells the story of his father who battled with polio, has become a patron of the British Polio Fellowship.

Breathe is based on the true story of Robin and Diana Cavendish and their fight to lead a normal life, following Robin being given three months to live after being paralysed from the neck down by polio, aged 28.

Robin worked not only to improve his own life but the lives of others, becoming a pioneering advocate for disabled people in the process.

The charity’s CEO Ted Hill said: “We are delighted to welcome Jonathan as a patron of the British Polio Fellowship.

“Producing a film about his father’s life with polio is a brave act and with 120,000 people in the UK living with Post Polio Syndrome, Breathe is an important reminder of the devastation caused by polio, and that the battle to beat this terrible disease and its late effects is far from over.”

Jonathan said: “Dad was familiar with the work of the British Polio Fellowship and would be pleased I am now a patron of the charity.

“It is a surprise 120,000 people are still affected by polio in the UK. Mum and dad devoted their lives to raising awareness of polio, and I hope Breathe brings their lives and all those living with PPS into the spotlight.”

The charity is delighted to see the way the film has tackled the issue of disability.

Ted Hill said: “People have been crying out for a realistic yet positive portrayal of disability on film and Breathe does not disappoint.

“The film deserves all the acclaim it is receiving, because while not shying away from the realities of life with polio, it shows a life affirming side that we have all been wanting a film about disability to present.

“The iron lung scene will live long in the memory and gives an insight into the experiences of many of our members.”

The British Polio Fellowship, tel 0800 043 1935