Quota International of Coffs Harbour
Honorable Mention Winner
“It is reassuring to know I am not going mad (as some people think), but I do have the so-called normal symptoms of the disease—I am not alone.” This comment was made by a Meniere’s sufferer who attended the Coffs Harbour Quota club’s Forum on Meniere’s Disease held on March 7, 2009. The individual was referring to the sudden and devastating symptoms that accompany the infrequent attacks of this disease, including vertigo (head spinning), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. An attack can last from ten minutes to many hours and can be very debilitating to the person experiencing one.
Not much is known about Meniere’s Disease, which is one of the reasons why Coffs Harbour Quotarians decided to hold a community awareness forum about the disease on behalf of the Meniere’s Support Group of NSW, Inc. (MSGNSW). Also, one of the club’s members has Meniere’s Disease and previously served as the founding secretary of MSGNSW.
The forum proved to be an exceptional Quota Cares Month project. The event, which was free to the public, drew 300 attendees who heard Professor William P.R. Gibson A.M., a world expert on Meniere’s, describe the symptoms, causes, and treatments for the disease.
The event was well publicized in local newspapers and on television and radio. Flyers were also distributed to local medical institutions, and medical societies, audiologists, and audiometrists were personally notified. It was highly important to have the medical community present as Meniere’s Disease can often be misdiagnosed, because its symptoms are similar to many other diseases.
In addition to educating the community about Meniere’s Disease, the event also reinforced the Quota club’s assistance to the deaf and hearing impaired.
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