PSA is starting a new project. As announced in our November 2013 newsletter, we want all our members worldwide to participate in creating a public awareness project that would involve Rotary Clubs working with existing Post-Polio support groups or polio survivors.
We want you to make a presentation of the End Polio Now pins to your local polio survivor group and arrange a group photograph of the Rotarians and survivors holding the pins up (same way as the current “We’re This Close” photos.) Ask them to wear their pins and help spread the word about Polio Eradication. Prepare a press release featuring the survivors and the current polio eradication program and try to get local news coverage using the photo along with appropriate copy concerning the “End Polio Now” campaign. Ask your local clubs to have the polio survivors present a program telling the story of their own experience with polio. Get your local Rotaract clubs involved with this too!
To get you started, we’ve included pictures of our own Ray Taylor and another picture of the Sandhills Postpolio group (Pinehurst NC) that was taken earlier this month. (Click on the pictures to see them larger)
The Polio Survivors and Associates Rotarian Action Group will help support this project in two ways. First, we have arranged for Rotary International to provide the pins for your Rotary Club to give away to PostPolio Survivors groups to use for this project (limit of 12 – if you need more, they can be purchased through the Rotary Store (shop.rotary.org). Please contact Regina Rodriguez-Martin at the Rotary Polio Office if you want to use this resource.
Second, the PSA Website will also be used to help spread the word. Send us your End Polio Now pin pictures that you take with Polio Survivors and we will post them in the gallery. Please email your picture to email@example.com, along with the names of the people in the picture.
See picture posted in the Gallery —
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.