Road race promotes polio eradication in Mexico

Rotarians in Mexico promote polio eradication during the Panamerican Car Race.

Rotarians in Mexico promote polio eradication during the Panamerican Car Race.

By Leticia Parra, a member of the Rotary Club of Bellavista-Atizapan

Rotarians in Mexico were proud to be part of a great effort to publicize Rotary’s work in eradicating polio. During the Panamerican Car Race 19-22 October, more than 100 cars were decorated with End Polio Now stickers as they raced 3,100 kilometers (about 1,900 miles) across Mexico.

Drivers took part in events each day where they discussed the importance of ridding the world of the disease. Continue reading

Two sides to the polio eradication effort

Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan

By Tim Ryan, a member of the Rotary Club of Toledo, Ohio, USA

I was in Abuja, Nigeria, last month as part of a team taking part in National Immunization Days (NID). I danced with nurses at lunchtime. I had lots of fun. I did not want to leave.

The entire team met committed doctors, saw lots of polio victims (mostly children), and took many photos. Experience has shown that by aiding polio victims from the local infected communities, Rotarians help the families become the best advocates for polio immunization.  Continue reading

Promoting polio eradication in Argentina

Rotarians in Argentina display an End Polio Now banner at River Plate soccer stadium. Photo courtesy of District 4855

Rotarians in Argentina display an End Polio Now banner at River Plate soccer stadium. From left José Luis De Laurente, Roberto Fontanella, Federico Frangiosa, Marcelo Frangiosa and Javier Costalonga. Photo courtesy of District 4855

By Marcelo Enrique Frangiosa, governor of District 4855 (Argentina)

On Sunday, 2 December, our district had a very busy and very happy day. It started with a “Polio Plus Fellowship Asado,” a barbecue where more than 150 Rotarians and friends celebrated their friendship, while raising funds for polio.

After taking a “This Close” photo, part of the district polio plus committee and I rushed to the River Plate Stadium to focus even more attention on the polio eradication efforts. Our team circled the soccer stadium proudly displaying the End Polio Now banner. Continue reading

Polio surgery project extends service beyond borders

Nigerian Health Minister C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu takes part in a polio-corrective surgery during the medical mission.

Nigerian Health Minister C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu takes part in a polio-corrective surgery during the medical mission.

By Rajiv Pradhan, past governor of District 3132 and primary project contact for the medical mission to Nigeria

The medical mission to Nigeria was a life-changing experience for the Indian doctors who took part and for the children who underwent polio-corrective surgeries.

The orthopedic surgeons, all with experience in these types of surgeries, came from all corners of India. Many more surgeons and anesthesiologists wanted to join than we had room for on the team. Continue reading

Immunization team overcomes a mother’s reluctance to deliver life-saving polio vaccine

Julia Yank

Julia Yank

By Julia Yank, a member of the Rotary club of St. Clair County Sunset, O’Fallon, Illinois, writing from Nigeria as part of a team taking part in National Immunization Days

When my mother asked if I would go to Nigeria for a National Immunization Day to assist in the eradication efforts against polio, I had no way of imagining what  lay ahead.

Being the daughter of past District Governors Greg and Catherine Taylor Yank, in District 6510, I have Rotary in my blood. Continue reading

Meeting a polio survivor in Nigeria

Al Bonney

Al Bonney

By Al Bonney, a member of the Rotary Club of Traverse City, Michigan, USA, writing from Nigeria as part of a team taking part in National Immunization Days

Before this trip, I had never looked a polio survivor outside the United States in the eye, engaged him in conversation, and seen his pain, sadness, and even resignation.

As a Rotarian, I have been aware of Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio once and for all. But this was just two humans, mano a mano, seeking the same life of dignity and respect as the other, and it was my responsibility to communicate that respect and dignity. Continue reading

Ultramarathon Challenge raises awareness for Rotary

João Correa with his new handcycle, and a member of the Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial.

By Marcos Netto, Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

As a business person for almost 30 years, I have seen many people approaching our company asking for donations for all sorts of needs.

So when paralympic athlete João Correa from Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, contacted me asking for financial support to purchase a racing handcycle, I thought there could be another way to help him and raise awareness for his disability. (João lost the use of his leg in a work-related accident when he was 18). Continue reading

Fighting AIDS through the power of Rotarians

Marion Bunch

By Marion Bunch, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (formerly RFFA)

World AIDS Day 1 December holds special meaning to me. I lost my second born child, Jerry, to AIDS early in the American epidemic (1994). At that time, the disease was so stigmatizing, I felt quite lonely not being able to discuss Jerry’s illness with anyone outside my family. I never thought I’d do anything about it until one day, three years after his death, I felt a tap on the shoulder and a voice in my ear said “mom, get up and get going, you haven’t done anything, and it’s been three years.” Continue reading

Australian Rotaractors raise awareness for polio eradication

Australian Rotaractors and Rotarians in front of Parliament House in Canberra 21 October to raise awareness for the End Polio Now campaign. Photo courtesy of Rotaract Club of Canberra

By Kate Campbell, president of the Rotaract Club of Canberra, Australia

Standing alongside my fellow Australian Rotaractors and Rotarians in front of Parliament House in Canberra 21 October to raise awareness for the End Polio Now campaign was a truly exhilarating moment.

The event aimed to show support for the amazing work done by RI and their partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and encourage the Australian government to continue supporting the fight against this deadly disease. Continue reading

Polio survivors share a wealth of insight

John H.G. Soe at the 2012 RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand.

By John H.G. Soe, a polio survivor and member of Rotary Club of Jakarta Sentral, Indonesia

At the age of four months, I was stricken with polio. My parents, due to their superstitions and lack of understanding, abandoned me to the nuns of a Catholic orphanage in Medan, Indonesia. It was a huge orphanage of 200 children, and I remember listening to the bells and sounds of prayers.

On school holidays, relatives would come and pick up many of the children, but not me. I was always left alone. I had never been cuddled or carried on someone’s lap. I had never known my parents, but only the gentle kindness of the nuns. I was starving for the warmth of family love. Continue reading