UMPI and Presque Isle Rotary Club joined forces to recognize world Polio day. Polio is 99% eradicated, however that means that 1% of the world is still effected. We spoke with one man tonight whose wife is living proof that this can be beaten.
” She had polio when she was 20 months old and she was sent to hyde home in bath maine for 9 months and she had a whole series of operations and it has continued through her life.”Rodney Leach, Husband of Polio Survivor.
those surgeries include hip replacements, ankle fusions, and knee surgeries just to name a few. Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Rodney spoke to the group that gathered at UMPI stating very clearly his family was not here to talk about themselves but rather to help to spread awareness so this disease can be eliminated all together.
“It’s a disease that can be overcome, and rotary is doing a great thing by trying to eradicate it and we already have the cure.”Said Leach.
The Rotary club alongside UMPI are raising awareness as well as money for Polio eradication efforts with their Purple Pinkie program. This program asks that people donate $1 dollar to the 3 countries, Afghanistan, Nigera and Pakistan, that are still effected, and in return their pinkie finger is marked with purple ink or marker.
“Why purple? Purple is the color that is used around the world when they immunize kids against polio and that’s the way that rotary and health organizations can tell that the child has received the immunization.”Explained, Joy Barresi Saucier, foundation committee chair of the Presque Isle Rotary Club.
For every one dollar that is donated the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation gives two dollars for eradication efforts through 2018. If we don’t end Polio now, experts say that the disease could rebound to 10 million cases in the next 40 years.