My mom was a Polio Pioneer

By Rotary International

By Richard J. Fox, Rotary Club of Charlotte-Shelburne, Vermont, USA

Since joining Rotary in 2011, I have been impressed by its commitment to eradicating polio from the world through its End Polio Now campaign. That said, polio never resonated with me as a significant cause.

I was generally aware of polio’s impact throughout history: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the March of Dimes, iron lungs, and the polio panic here in the United States. But it wasn’t personal to me; it was something of the previous generation, abstract, to which I had no emotional investment.

And then my mom went and showed me how wrong I was.

A couple of weeks ago she handed me a small piece of cardboard and said “Since you’re in Rotary and its always talking about polio, I thought you might want this.” The cardboard was my mother’s “Polio Pioneer” card, marking her as one of hundreds of thousands of children throughout the United States who, in the summer of 1954, participated in the largest clinical trial ever conducted.

For most of us born after 1954, I suspect the idea of hundreds of thousands of parents across the nation volunteering their children to test an unproven vaccine for polio is a …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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