By Gary Bren, past governor of District 5650 (Iowa, Nebraska, USA)
For more than two decades, my wife and I have been committed to Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio. The roots of my involvement go back to events before I was born. I have two older sisters, and after my second sister was born, my mom had two miscarriages. My parents really wanted a third child, so the doctors prescribed a drug that would help my mom carry a child full-term.
I was born with a few side effects from that drug. The first – a single abdominal kidney – was discovered at the time of my birth. The second, I didn’t discover until years later. In the 1990s my wife and I were having trouble conceiving a child, and we found out the problem was related to the drug my mother had taken.
Project AIDS Aware helps people living with HIV in Nigeria
By Princewill Onyekah, Rotaract Club of Medilag Golden, Lagos State, Nigeria
As a member of Rotaract, I’ve had the opportunity to make meaningful impacts in my community. I applied to join my club when I was entering medical school in 2018.
One of the first things I learned as a Rotaractor was The Four-Way Test, which is an integral part of Rotary. This test involves evaluating the things we say or do based on four criteria: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? By adhering to these principles, Rotaractors strive to make ethical and responsible decisions that positively impact their communities.
By Magdalen R Leung, Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset, British Columbia, Canada, and a member of the Health Major Gifts Initiative Advisers committee
Through my participation in global grants from The Rotary Foundation, I have seen how the lives of 600 children in China have been changed for the better in the past ten years.
I have been involved in four global grants to support Gift of Life in Shanghai, China. These grants, ranging from $150,000 to $200,000, have provided life-changing heart surgery to children as young as three months old, with most of the children ages five or six.
Early one morning in late October, members of the Rotary Club of Cheongju Dream, Korea, gathered with volunteers at Mushimcheon River Park, Cheongju, Korea. Excitement filled the air as visually-impaired individuals, young and old, arrived with social worker companions for a four-hour tandem bicycle ride.
By Suzanne Gibson, 2019-20 governor of Rotary District 6440 and a member of the Rotary Club of Barrington Breakfast, Barrington, Illinois
While planning a youth assembly in the fall of 2017, Rotary leaders in my district were looking for a fresh way to connect young people with the story of polio. Their generation is largely unfamiliar with this disease because it has not been endemic in our part of the world for decades. They have little memory, aside from photos in history books, of polio scares and children in iron lungs.
We wanted to explain how Rotary has been working to deliver on the vision of a polio-free world and why. We have reduced the number of cases of polio by 99.9 percent since 1988. But still, as long as polio exists anywhere, it remains a threat. There is no cure, only prevention, through vaccines.