By Scott Daniels
What I remember most is the fear. I was too small to recall all the details, but when I was a child, polio struck the eastern Iowa community where I grew up.
When it hit, people took action. Parents kept their kids at home. The swimming pool shut down. You couldn’t play with the neighbor kids. One of our family friend’s kids contracted the disease. I can vividly remember parents and teachers being concerned about transmission of the virus.
There was no debate in my family over whether or not to vaccinate. You either did or you ran the risk of contracting the disease. We are blessed in the United States to be reaping the benefits of the hard effort Rotary and other organizations have undertaken to eradicate polio here. But no family, be it in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or any country in the world, should face the fear and devastation polio brings. That is what motivates me to support worldwide efforts to eradicate polio. We need to eradicate this disease, once and for all.
My entry to the world of bicycling started when I had to find a way to stay fit without running. The Miles to End Polio ride is a wonderful way to raise funds to support polio eradication, and stay in shape at the same time. As a member of the Rotary Club of Glenview Sunrise, in suburban Chicago, I receive no shortage of support. The hard work and effort my fellow members put into raising funds for community causes and polio eradication continue to be a source of inspiration.
Rotary supports worldwide efforts to eradicate polio and other communicable diseases. I recently spoke publicly on efforts to eradicate malaria, on behalf of my father who contracted malaria while serving in World War II. It is to the men and women of Rotary International, their dedication and efforts to eradicate polio and other communicable diseases, and in particular to members of the Rotary Club of Glenview Sunrise, that I dedicate my ride.
Scott Daniels is procurement services manager for Rotary International and 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. Read posts from other team members 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.