Dwight Bowers, retired minister and Bryan Rotarian, spoke to the Stryker Rotary Club about Rotary’s efforts to keep Polio at bay and work to irradiate the disease in our lifetime. Dwight, himself a polio survivor, remembers his experience in the hospital at the age of four years. He felt he was one of the very fortunate ones as he was able to live his life out in a much more normal way than many. He even participated in sports in school. He contracted the disease in the 1950’s when it was spreading quickly throughout the United States. Most who contracted polio had many more long term effects, and others perished. A vaccination was developed and saved later generations from the disease. The vaccination process was improved to the point it could be administered orally, and Rotary set out to rid the disease from the world. The work has been long and arduous with much success. The peak of the epidemic saw 1,000 new cases every day and this year there have been just 27 cases reported in three countries. These are very remote and dangerous locations where safety is a real concern. Experts predict that stopping at this point would likely result in the number of cases growing to over 200,000 in just a few years. Dwight is amazed that many today do not even recognize polio as a threat because it has been a very long time since a case has been recorded in the United States. Dwight told the club that district 6600 has set some goals for giving toward this project, and reminded us that at the present time there is matching funds available to make each gift even greater. Dwight Bowers, pictured on the left, spoke as a guest of Stryker Rotary Member Steve Planson.
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