Dawn Tolbert

Writer
#366Days

Eradicate! #366Days Day 143

I hope my Dr. Who-watching friends appreciate the reference in the title. Yes I know it’s “Exterminate!,” but stick with me here…

Speaking of sticking, on this day in 1954, trials began testing the Polio vaccine invented by Dr. Salk. When they were young, my mom and dad both had relatives who were afflicted with the disease, but by the time I was school age, the vaccine was standard and the disease all but eradicated in the Western Hemisphere. 

I’ve been fortunate this year to be part of Rotary and have learned a lot about what Rotarians are doing around the world to stomp out the disease for good. The results have been impressive. Rotary made the eradication of polio a goal in the late 1980s, I believe. Today, there are only two counties in the world that have never stopped the transmission of polio.

 Two. 

In the whole world. 

I think that’s cool. I think that shows what we can do when we decided to fight something. I just thought it was important to note how far we’ve come since those trials began 62 years ago. Someday, hopefully, polio will just be something written about in the history books. I’m proud to be part of an organization doing something to make that happen. 

Repeat with Dalek-inspired determination, “Eradicate!”

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