By Naish Shah
My two cousins had polio, and they passed away before they reached adulthood. My brother, my sister, and I were fortunate to have been born here in Chicago, so we received the polio vaccine that my cousins in India never got. This has made me passionate about doing whatever I can to help eradicate this horrible disease.
I rode with the Miles to End Polio team last year. My fellow members of the Rotary Club of Naperville Downtown, Illinois, USA, and I raised more than $8,000 for the cause. Easily, the Miles to End Polio effort last year was the most memorable experience of the two years I’ve worked at Rotary International. It really provided a tangible way to contribute toward Rotary’s mission and live the motto of Service Above Self.
I also felt blessed to be able to train and ride with the team last year. I had never ridden more than 104 miles before. I could not have done it without the tips, support, and encouragement of the team. We truly built goodwill and friendship. It was a great experience, and I thank all my teammates for their support.
We also received wonderful hospitality and support from the Rotary members in Tucson who organize Rotary’s participation in El Tour de Tucson. Their passion, dedication, and hard work are the keys to the success of Miles to End Polio. I am so excited to be a part of this year’s team, and I look forward to being pushed to my limits for this great cause.
Naish Shah is manager of Rotary’s Member Benefits program. He is one of several Rotary staff members who will join General Secretary John Hewko in biking El Tour de Tucson in Arizona to raise money for polio eradication. Check back for posts from other team members between now and the 21 November event and learn how you can support the team.
Want to join the effort? Take part in the Indoor Ride to End Polio by riding a stationary bike at your local gym or at home anytime from 14 to 21 November.