Islander is 'Polio Warrior'

Mercer Island Rotary president, Pat Turner with friends in Ethiopia in November. - Contributed photo
Mercer Island Rotary president, Pat Turner with friends in Ethiopia in November.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Islander Pat Turner, President of the Mercer Island Rotary Club, traveled to Ethiopia in November to help win the fight against polio. Along with 32 other Rotarians from the United States and Canada, Turner walked house to house, and mud hut to mud hut, immunizing children in rural villages in the south of Ethiopia. As a polio survivor, Pat is passionate about eradicating this dreadful disease. All that is required to prevent polio is to squeeze two drops of vaccine into a child’s mouth.

In 1985, Rotary Clubs from around the world took up the challenge to eliminate polio from the face of the earth.

Despite vaccines introduced decades ago, thousands of children in developing countries contract polio each year. Polio leaves most of them as “crawlers” — people who lived their lives with contracted muscles that allowed them only to crawl on the ground and beg for food and shelter.

Tens of thousands of Rotarians including Turner and dozens from Mercer Island have traveled overseas at their own expense to vaccinate children in the world’s most remote locations.

Yet, as long as there are cases anywhere in the world, polio is just a plane ride away.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates