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Islander is 'Polio Warrior'
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.