My Polio Eradication Journey

A number of years ago, a then-District Governor visited our Rotary Club and reminded us that back in 1988 Rotarians made a promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio.
I took that as a personal challenge: I wanted to be a player in eradicating polio from the face of the earth. I decided right then and there that I would donate sufficient funds to vaccinate one million children for polio – and I’m currently working toward that goal.
Additionally, back in 2010, my Dundas Rotary Club did the Swim To End Polio fundraiser. I trained for a year and swam 20 km across Lake Erie and 26 km (to the middle) of Lake Ontario; and we raised $52,000 for polio, matched 2:1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Collective efforts have reduced the number of polio cases by 99.9%.
But we’re not done yet - and I’m not done yet!
Most recently, I challenged my Rotary District to match my gift of $50,000 last year and $75,000 this year to the Rotary Foundation Canada for the PolioPlus campaign.
Do you know that Michael Jackson song, Man in the Mirror?  It says: “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change!”
Rotarians worldwide have been a part of that change – through their financial gifts, as well as gifts of time and energy in our Rotary Clubs.
We must finish the job!  Together, we can fulfill our promise to the children of the world.
Brothers and Sisters in Rotary, we are this close! Let’s End Polio Now!
by Thie Convery
Honourary Member, Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club