Dear Care2 friends:
Polio is a very serious issue for me, because my grandfather’s life, first marriage, and family were forever altered by polio. He and Tillie were happily married before Tillie’s encounter with poliomyelitis. I know they had one child named Jerry, but I also heard once that she had five children. However, Jerry was the only child to live past one year and into old age. I believe Tillie had recently experienced a pregnancy before she was affect by the viral infection. I believe because of the weakened state of her health after a miscarriage or a stillbirth that she was extremely vulnerable to the polio virus. Tillie did not become just paralyzed. She became bedridden and was no longer ambulatory for close to ten years before her death. She spent her polio years in an institution that is very similar to our modern rehabilitation centers, but probably not as nice as ours. My grandfather raised Jerry from a young boy and regularly visited Tillie at the institution.
My grandfather was a devout Catholic. However, despite his beliefs, he managed to father an illegitimate child, Dotty or Dolly, while Tillie was still alive. My Grandfather also began raising the little girl from babyhood. Jerry finally had a sibling of his own. Unfortunately, and eventually, Tillie withered away in bed and passed away.
My grandfather married a second time to my grandmother. They had twelve children, but only eight lived past one year and into or past their 50s.
When my grandfather eventually died at age 89—he was born in 1900, my Uncle Joe began taking care of his estate and packing up all of his belongings. While packing, Joe ran into a box with several of those old fashioned photos of my grandfather and Tillie. My Uncle marveled over the very young, happy, and comical character my grandfather once was. Uncle Joe witnessed a man that he and none of his siblings had ever known. He shared these photos with all his siblings, including Jerry. I honestly believe he gave Jerry all the photos because Jerry’s young, happy and ambulatory mother, Tillie, was in all of them. They were childhood sweethearts!!!
My father was the first born of the eight and Joseph was the youngest. They were raised by an older, very serious, and even cynical man. All eight of them, as well as Jerry, wished they were raised by the younger man with a very good sense of humor!!!
Many people, like me, desire to eradicate polio from the face of the earth as soon as possible. Without a globally distributed polio vaccine, the probability is quite high for several million children to become infected with infantile paralysis during the next few decades. There are already some epidemics occurring throughout the planet. With global trade, more unvaccinated populations will become susceptible to the virus.
Pleases sign the petition!
September of 2011:
April of 2009:
There have been outbreaks in Uganda, Northern Nigeria, and Northern India, as well as, by way of Port Sudan, in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Indonesia, and Yemen. There have also been outbreaks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, Niger, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.