MENINGITIS FOUNDATION CANADA: A SUCCESSFUL JOURNEY
Meningitis Foundation Canada (formerly Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada) is the first national charitable foundation in Canada dedicated to raising awareness, providing support to families affected by meningitis and raising funds for research. They have developed and are continually upgrading a first class website serving as an important educational tool to raise awareness of the signs, symptoms, various strains of Meningitis and the vaccines available.
The MFC has provided a place for families and for all who are impacted by meningitis, where they can turn to for answers, help and support. It allows people to share their stories and connect with other families who are devastated by their life changing experience. They have created various public awareness pieces, such as the Catriona LeMay Doan….Race Against Time; Amy Purdy…Not All Meningitis is the Same – Not All vaccines are the Same. Keaton’s Story; Give It All; The Portrait; A Time to Protect; as well as articles published in various periodicals. MFC distributes symptoms cards and brochures outlining details of meningitis.
MFC is involved in ongoing advocacy for vaccines and providing key speakers to many events to raise awareness. MFC is a member of the founding committee of CoMO (Confederation of Meningitis Organisations
) and has participated on the steering committee and on the board of directors and has representation on the CoMO governing council. MFC has successfully lobbied the Ontario, B.C. and Alberta governments to include the meningitis vaccine on their routine childhood immunization schedules.
MFC has advocated for inclusion of the meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines in public programs in Ontario. It has successfully raised funds to educate the public and provide financial support for research grants. The MFC has also funded fellowships in vaccinology at Dalhousie and UBC, with fellows at each site becoming full-time professors. One is the leading researcher in Canada on the epidemiology of meningococcal disease.
Funding the CAIRE (Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation
) Research Round Table: Prevention of Meningococcal Infection on April 3, 2014 - should help familiarize Canadian vaccine researchers with the MFC and, hopefully, to an expanded role in funding ongoing medical events.
The MFC Executive Director and founder Kathryn Blain and MFC current board members: Dr. Joanne Langley, Michael Redfearn, Karen Mayfield, Mary Clough, Melissa (Longo) Lehmann and Shannon O'Neill are a wonderful team of dedicated, caring individuals who have come together out of a desire to help others.
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