Polio eradication has helped define who we are

131008_jonesBy Jennifer Jones, moderator for Rotary’s Livestream event World Polio Day: Making History

I was perhaps six or seven when I began to wonder why my grandmother walked differently – why she had one leg that was shorter than the other? As I would later learn, she was a polio survivor but to me she was simply grandma.

A few decades later, this disease would play an even more active role in my life, when I became a member of Rotary.

We have the privilege in our lifetime to participate in the removal of a disease from this planet, which is nothing short of miraculous. Each member of Rotary can “own” this victory, each one of us can help shape our collective story.

Service is what we do but polio has truly helped define us. It has showed us that we have the perseverance and drive to tackle the world’s most challenging problems. It has increased our understanding about the importance of partnerships and it has been a rallying cry that has united us one and all.

Of course we had partners in this journey – but Rotarians brought leadership – “in the field” volunteerism, financial stewardship and we have been the heartbeat of the entire effort.

As we stand on the brink of eradication we have never been “this close” or more determined to complete the task. On 24 October join supporters around the world by participating in a broadcast on Livestream to discuss the “finish line.”

Have your club host a viewing party to watch and discuss the broadcast which will include Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration; Dr. Robert Murphy, director of the Center for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; and polio survivor and world-class Paralympian Dennis Ogbe, an ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to promote childhood immunizations.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you can become a part of history by helping Rotary and its partners End Polio Now.

Source: Rotary Voices

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