Join us in celebrating World Polio Day

By Amanda Peet, actress and vaccine ambassador for Every Child By Two

Today is World Polio Day. To most Americans this day of observance will quietly slip under the radar; and understandably so. Here in America, our children are protected from this horrible disease, which prior to the development of a polio vaccine in 1955, paralyzed up to 20,000 and killed nearly 1,000 of our citizens each year. Most of the victims who survived polio were young children, many who remained in iron lungs for a lifetime. Today, polio remains endemic in only three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) and in 2011, less than 700 cases were reported. This is a reduction of more than 99 percent since 1985. Continue reading

Polio survivor’s book reveals the trials of a polio mom

Kurt Sipolski

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

A polio survivor’s “aha” moment

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