Rotarians join together to help fight polio

Rotary Clubs put on an effort to bring awareness of polio eradication to the public.

The Rotary Clubs of the great metropolitan Toledo area put together an effort to bring awareness of polio eradication to the public.

The world-renowned speaker and advocate, Ann Lee Hussey, who is a polio survivor and Rotarian, held a private lecture and reception at the Valentine Theater in Toledo.

"I am a polio survivor," Hussey said. "I think my passion comes from my personal experiences. I do not want to see any more children crippled from polio. That is why I work so hard to make that happen."

The Rotary started a campaign to end polio in 1985. At that time, more than 125 countries had the polio virus circulating, and 1,000 children were being paralyzed every day. The campaign has reduced the amount of cases by 99 percent and now only 3 countries are still plagued by the polio virus. Those countries are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

"People need to realize that polio is still in the world today. It may not be here in their community in the United States, but it is lurking, it is around the corner. It is really only a plane ride away," Ann Lee Hussey said. "We have the tools, we have the resources, we have the know-how to eradicate polio today. People need to be aware of how close we are to that finish line."