Joan, pictured above for an article in the Irish times in May 2008, which you can read here , made a most unique contribution to this organisation and to the wider disability sector.
Many people would know Joan’s story – that she began to experience Post Polio Syndrome, but it took some time to convince the medical profession that anything was wrong.
Joan disagreed, having given up her job as a radiotherapist because of her worsening symptoms. Her friend, paralympian, Rosaleen Gallagher, was suffering the same way and picked up some leaflets in the USA on Post Polio Syndrome. The job of persuading others that this syndrome existed began, along with the spark of the idea of the Post Polio Support Group, as a means to help fellow polio survivors.
Joan founded the Post Polio Support Group in 1993 and gathered a group of determined polio survivors, including, among others, Jim Costello and together the group built up the organisation to what it is today.
Joan served in many key roles in the organisation over the years. She was a volunteer in the office as the main contact for members. She was a member of the Board from its inception and a member of the Board’s various committees and latterly she was a member of the Board Nominations sub-committee.
Members owe her a huge debt of gratitude for her lifetime dedication to the wellbeing of polio survivors. Even in the last few weeks of her life, Joan remained active and committed to the organisation.
In the past few days, we have received many beautiful messages, stories and lovely memories of Joan and are collating these to share with her family.
Our thoughts are with Joan’s family and friends at this sad time.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a ainm dílis.