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POLIO
continued from page 19
Polio Awareness . . .
It's only a plane ride away.

* We actively engage in the Senior Health Fairs (sponsored by
our Representatives) held throughout Pa.
* In 2018, we partnered with Dr. Richard Bruno, HD, PhD,
the Director of the International Center for Polio Education,
to edit and publish the Encyclopedia of Polio and PPS. This
publication contains all of Dr. Bruno's newly updated articles
(including Research articles), Bruno Bytes and videos.
* We are grateful for the regular contribution(s) of our
professional contributors (listed alphabetically): Dr. Richard
L. Bruno, HD, PhD, Dr. William DeMayo, MD, Post-Polio
Health International, Rotary International, and Professor
Daniel J. Wilson, PhD. The full list of our professional
contributors (including their biographies) is on our website.
* In December of 2014, we made the decision that we would
continue to be active as long as it is necessary. It is our dream
that post-polio care will become "main stream" for health care
professionals and survivors. We are grateful to be working with
generous professionals who are experienced in the care of polio
survivors and understand the long-term effects (both mental
and physical) of the poliovirus. The opportunity to read and
publish their work on a regular basis is something we will never
take for granted and want to continue.
* The positive response from health care professionals when we
talk at presentations about the "Polio Truths" has been truly
inspiring. We are grateful for their wanting to attend and
encourage their questions and concerns. We talk about ideas
such as "non-paralytic" polio being able to result in PPS, the
reality of there being survivors seeking care who are not old
enough to be eligible for Medicare and "Yes," PPS does exist.
We talk about how credentialed our professional contributors
are - referring to the easy access through our website to their
biographies/websites.
April is now Polio Awareness Month (passed unanimously by
our Pa. State Representatives) along with World Immunization
week. Each year, we launch a new "initiative" during that month.
Over the last 4 years, these projects have grown to be increasingly
more meaningful. We began with Anesthesia Warning cards
(mentioned above). These cards have had a positive response from
polio survivors and health care professionals all over the US. We
now create and distribute images that encourage vaccination.

20 CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine | SUMMER 2019

The concerns about lack of childhood vaccinations are front
and center in the news. One of our April projects, easily shared
with school nurses and pediatricians, has a direct link to the Rotary
International video: "Why Zero Matters," a film that explains
just how easily the virus could return to all countries who are now
polio "free."
The WHO made our 2019 initiative the most meaningful yet.
In January, they announced that Vaccine Hesitancy was one of the
Top Ten Global Health Threats of 2019. As a result, we went to
work partnering with Rotary International and the PAIC to create
a Vaccine Information Card. It is our goal, over the next year, to
raise enough funds to print and distribute this card to every new
parent in our State. (Printing Donations will come only from
Rotary Clubs, Individuals and our Non-Profit Partners.) We are
happy to have the permission of the Vaccine Education Center at
CHOP to include their contact information on the card and on
our website.
For some of us, PPS brings the answer to "I always knew
something was wrong" along with dependence on assistive devices
for the very first time. For the majority, along with new pain and
weakness, PPS brings memories long forgotten - memories of
long hospitalizations, isolation, fear and abandonment. For young
survivors, we present the reality of PPS with the hope they can
begin the lifestyle changes at an early age, that can perhaps reduce
symptoms later. We provide information that can help survivors
to help themselves and thus be independent once more.
It is the positive response to our work, from polio survivors
all over the US and abroad, that has been humbling and truly
inspiring. The four survivors on our team see the effects of polio as
something that we "have" but not something that will continue to
define us. The non-survivors, truly wonderful family and friends
on our volunteer team, are focused on our energy not on our
disability. That combination has resulted in what we believe to be
a positive and encouraging message when discussing the reality of
the very painful and difficult effects of this disease.
We are survivors of a vaccine preventable disease who have
come together to serve others by providing them information, so
they too can thrive.


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