The Hampton Roads Post Polio group formed over 30 years ago. We first met at a local rehab hospital. The group grew quickly thanks to articles in the paper, interviews on a local radio station, and referrals from a Dr. Jane Wootten at the polio clinic in Richmond VA.
It was at it’s peak in the early 90s, with a membership of 150 and about 30-40 folks in attendance monthly. We moved meeting locations several times to accommodate the large group and ease of handicapped parking. The group has aged and decreased in numbers lately due to members moving to be closer to loved ones for care, because of death or because of immobility issues. Our current membership is about 80 on role and we now average 6-8 survivors along with their care partners at most meetings.
Over the years we have had informative as well as social meetings. Doctors, occupational therapist, alternative medical folks, exercise specialist, financial advisers and physical therapist have all spoken. We also had meetings geared to our life partners and family members. We’ve participated in conferences locally as well as nationally, always bringing information back to the group. We’ve also participated in several scientific surveys mostly through the Post Polio Health International.
As our membership ages and mobility becomes even more of an issue we are now meeting monthly for lunch at local restaurants. This allows us to continue to stay connected and care for each other socially.
The group is pleased to know that Rotary and it’s partners are working to eradicate Polio so that no other child has to go through what they have.