WE'RE STILL HERE
When people see me in a wheelchair,
they often stop and ask ?What happened to you? Did you have a
car accident?? My reply "No, I had polio when I was a baby"
prompts some surprising responses. POLIO? I thought polio was
done away with long ago. Are you still here??
Yes, WE'RE STILL HERE. Thousands of
us in New Zealand and between twelve and 20 million world-wide
are still here. We got polio before the vaccination to eradicate
polio was discovered. Memory of polio gradually slipped out of
our nation's psyche. But there are still children getting polio
today in countries that have not fully been fully immunised.
In the middle of October, an American-driven
campaign was initiated for a Global rally cry for people with
polio. The WE'RE STILL HERE campaign aims to bring awareness
to the positive lives of people with polio, and to celebrate
their contribution to all levels of society as teachers, doctors,
parents, writers, and volunteers.
In the decades after the second World
war the surviving soldiers didn't talk much about their battles,
and that stoic attitude has rubbed off on polio survivors as
well. Silence surrounded their battles to recover after being
struck down with paralysing polio.
But now is the time to tell our stories,
to say WE'RE STILL HERE. Isn't it time we become aware of the
valuable, productive and vital people around us in the places
where we live?
Recognition is a cure for many ills.
- from "A Beautiful Mind"