The sea castle in Saida, Lebanon, illuminated with an End Polio Now message.
By Bana Kalash Kobrosly, president of the Rotary Club of Saida, Lebanon
On 20 November, the Sea Castle in Saida, Lebanon, an important archeological site, was dramatically illuminated with the End Polio Now message.
The polio awareness program has been one of the most important humanitarian initiatives for Rotary clubs around the world for more than a quarter century now. For the second year in a row, Rotarians in Lebanon have played a part in helping build awareness around the need to eradicate this crippling disease. Continue reading
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
By Laura Blizzard, assistant governor of District 7000 and a member of the Rotary Club of Santurce, Puerto Rico
I met Maria while assisting with the End Polio Now lighting of the capitol in San Juan on 23 February, 2011. My telephone number was published in a local newspaper article about Rotary’s polio eradication efforts, and she called to offer her support and help. She said she understood better than many the importance of these efforts. I asked her how. This is her story:
My name is Maria L. Diaz Vargas. I am a polio survivor. I contracted the virus in 1964 when I was three years old. Continue reading
By Kurt Sipolski, freelance writer and resident of Palm Desert, California, USA
As World Polio Day approaches 24 October, I would bet most Americans thinking about polio have a hazy recollection of a long-dead U.S. president in a wheelchair, or else they have images of a more recent portrayal of a polio survivor such as the one in the new movie, The Sessions.
But for survivors like me, and for all the Rotarians and their polio eradication partners battling to finally eradicate the disease from the world, the day is a time for memory and unity. Continue reading
John Nanni at the UN General Assembly special session to “Unite Against Polio” 27 September.
By John Nanni, a member of the Rotary Club of Hamilton Township, New Jersey, USA
As a polio survivor who was paralyzed from my neck down for six months, and as a Rotarian, I had the honor of being a part of the Rotary PolioPlus delegation to the UN General Assembly special session to “Unite Against Polio” on 27 September.
My day started early – I was so excited and nervous I couldn’t sleep. I was worried about being a good representative of our club and of the more than 20 million polio survivors. Continue reading