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Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009 Edith Morris


Catchword Corner

November 2007


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"