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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Break From Politics

I don't recall exactly why I found myself perusing the web page List of poliomyelitis survivors. In any case, I found some surprises on that page. Take a look!

A history of poliomyelitis is HERE

Polio has not been eradicated worldwide.

BTW, it recently came to my attention that Franklin Delano Roosevelt may not have been crippled by polio, after all.


  1. One of my cousins, who happened to be only a year younger than my mother (technically her aunt!), developed polio at the age of four. She was born in 1914, so this was a very long time ago, and very little medical help was available.

    At any rate, her right arm remained foreshortened, and had very little strength. She also had to live with a weak right leg ending in a club foot as well.

    Despite all this she grew up to be very pretty, and even coming from a poor immigrant family was able to find the help and guidance she needed to graduate from Barnard College, and then to earn a Master's degree in Social Work from Columbia University. She earned her living as a social worker in New York City, a job that required frequent trips to bad neighborhoods and close personal contact with people we would never have wanted to know socially.

    She excelled in her work, despite having to climb stairs in and out of the subway, and up and down the floors of creaky tenements all day every day.

    Around the age of 40, she went back to school to pursue a second master's degree this time in Child Psychology. She took classes at night while still working a full schedule every day.

    Later on she able to win an executive position at a well known residential school for underprivileged children located about 40 miles outside New York City -- a beautiful place on wooded acreage with a pond and fine buildings that made it resemble a college campus. All of this was founded, built and run successfully for decades with PRIVATE money.

    As I look back, more and more I realize my cousin was a competent, quietly heroic person who never asked anybody for anything, and gave much to every life she touched including mine.

    I doubt if she ever thought of herself as a role model for anyone. Her only fault that I could discern was that she may have been a little too meek for her own good. I would have demanded more from family and friends, but she let herself be taken for granted.

    Even so, hers was a life of triumph over adversity.

  2. any break from politics is welcome AOW!! have a sweet Sunday my friend..:)

  3. In the 40s when I was a kid, polio was the scourge of every neighborhood. My mother would fret during polio season..usually summer. A boy up the street became paralyzed for life. The school vaccination program in the early fifties
    changed all that and my Mom could worry about other things: falling out of trees, getting hit by a train...
    The virus pathology is worsened by its tendency to penetrate motor neuron cells in the central nervous system, but oddly its life cycle depends entirely on humans for propagation. So, when a population is immunized, the virus, which
    cannot survive long in the outside environment, becomes extinct. The work of
    Sabin, Salk and several others led to the beginning of the study of virology and
    immense steps, such as understanding the molecular biology, genetic replication
    pathology and life cycle of the critters (which are little more than complex molecules) have and are being made.

  4. I was one of the first 100 children tested with the Salk injection. Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad.

  5. Fascinating! My grandma knew kids growing up that had contracted Polio, and always told us how lucky we were to have vaccines.


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