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Life Skills for Polios – a light hearted handbook


The exchange of ideas on management for polio survivors in the “second round” of the fight with the polio virus, has proved vital.

   To make that trade easier, Mornington Peninsula Post Polio Support Group has published ‘Life Skills for Polios – a light-hearted handbook’ to bring together the most recent as well as tried and true information and advice from medical experts plus those living with PPS.

   The book has been compiled and illustrated by retired Australian journalist, author and polio survivor Fran Henke, in themes of Home, Body and Mind – covering downsizing, tips for the kitchen and laundry, plus the big topics of pain, fatigue, exercise and coping with past treatment in the face of the new symptoms.

   Printing has been funded by generous donations from Mornington Peninsula service clubs, other support groups and individuals, with the aim of all sales proceeds going to benefit Polio Day 2017, held in Bendigo on October 21.

   The book is now available for $15 through PNV and Flying Pony Press (plus postage $7).

   Thanks to a particularly generous donation from the Lions Club of Rye/Rosebud, the print run was extended, enabling the group to donate a box of books to Polio Australia for sale at the Retreat in Queensland last year. 

   In February 2018, following outstanding sales around Australia and overseas, more copies were printed. Random Harvest Library advised Life Skills was its best seller for 2017!

   The book has gone to: Nepal, Afghanistan, Djakarta, Zimbabwe, UK, various states of USA, New Zealand and all around Australia, revealing a huge need for information.

Growing up Disabled in Australia (online).jpg

Fran's story is included in the latest of Black Inc.'s collections, Growing Up Disabled in Australia.

This is a rich collection of writing from those negotiating disability in their lives – a group whose voices are not heard often enough. Available as a paperback and e-book. 

How to buy 'Life Skills'

For International Polio survivors and families:

by donation $US5


in Australia: order through

$15 plus $7 postage and handling.

all proceeds to polio support groups

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech in the movie Warm Springs, sums up the situation of polio survivors around the world. FDR was leaving Warm Springs – the rundown spa hotel he purchased to turn into a rehabilitation centre – to stand for the US Presidency:

  “I am proud to be part of this community, not based on birthright or privilege but on compassion and courage. The true power of these waters is that they brought us together. Our ability to help one another is what will make our victory over polio endure. Because what you have done and will continue to do until this disease is defeated, is to come together like a family and do what we do best - lift each other.” 

* Polio Day 2023 hosted by Polio Network Victoria, was held on October 25 at Sanctuary Inn, Hastings.    Theme 'Staying' Alive' featured guest speaker Dr Natasha Layton on Assistive Technology.

   Polio Day 2024 is currently being planned, this year in Melbourne's metropolitan area.

Pictured left: MC Fran Henke, Max Keystone and PNV chair Bev Watson.

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Pictured at the Royal Victorian Historical Society book awards, commended for 'Iron Wills, Victorian Polio survivors stories'.

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