Let's end polio now. In 1894 the first major documented outbreak of the polio virus occurred in the United States. 18 people died and 132 were permanently paralyzed. 22 years later a polio outbreak kills more than 8,000 people across the United States, paralyzing many more. In 1939 the “iron lung” artificial respirator was invented, enabling those suffering from paralytic polio to breath but confining them to a cruel prison. By 1960 a vaccine had been created for the virus and incidents in the United States began to decline.
In 1985 Rotary International launches PolioPlus, the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative, with an initial fundraising target of US$120 million.
This trek to end polio has been long and costly. With 99.9% reduction in polio we are close to the finish line but still have a long way to go.
People will naturally say that it seems to be basically gone so let’s move on to other things. But it isn’t gone until it’s COMPLETELY GONE. Even one case remaining leaves the risk of another epidemic. If we don’t complete the job, we set ourselves up for having the disease come right back.
Even when it is gone, there’s still work to do. Following the last case of paralysis from polio, the world must be free of polio for at least three years before we can all rest assured that it is gone for good.
As we close in on our last case of polio, the cost of keeping the world polio-free for those three years has been estimated at $1.2 billion.
This may seem like an impossible task, but it’s not.
Miss Vicky’s 10,000-mile trek across horrendous terrain will prove that anything can be accomplished with careful planning, hard work, and dedication.
This is a world-wide fundraising effort and our goal is to use Miss Vicky’s trek to raise $1 million. That sounds crazy, but with your help, we can do it!
If you can, we ask you to donate $5 or $10 and then share this with your friends and family. With everyone pitching in, polio doesn’t stand a chance!