AS FAR as we are aware, this is a world first: The first ever designer dress made to not only be worn by a wheelchair user – but to totally be designed around the wheelchair itself!
Paralympian athlete Anne Wafula-Strike unveiled her ‘catwalk’ designer dress made of 3,500 train tickets in London – in a bid to raise awareness of polio and post polio syndrome (PPS).
Anne, born in Kenya but who now races for Team GB, contracted polio at the age of two. Paralysed from the chest, she is a past winner of the BBC’s ‘My Story’.
Her autobiography, In My Dreams I Dance was published by HarperCollins in 2010.
Post Polio Syndrome is a neurological condition which can occur in up to 80 per cent of those who have had polio.
It is thought that around 120,000 people in the UK are living with the effects of polio or PPS today.
After an interval of several years of stability, individuals can develop increasing weakness, fatigue and pain in previously affected or unaffected muscles, a general reduction in stamina, breathing, sleeping and/or swallowing problems and cold intolerance.
PPS usually begins very slowly, although it can appear suddenly and often following triggers such as falls, surgery or immobility.
There is no specific cure for PPS, but properly managed it may stabilise or only progress slowly and lessen the cost on the NHS.
Much can be done to retain independence, including appropriate treatment for symptoms, self-management strategies such as pacing and energy management, appropriate use of adaptive equipment, looking after your general health, and social and emotional support.