Polio survivor raises awareness against Polio

Fulton Rotary kicked off World Polio Month with a guest speaker Wednesday who had polio and survived it.

Jerry Venters, a past District 6040 Rotary Governor, had polio when he was 6.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the

age of 5. There is no cure for Polio and a Polio vaccine is the best way to protect against it.

During the month of October, Fulton Rotary will mark historic progress toward a

polio-free world while urging the community to help end the paralyzing disease.

The observance is among thousands to be held by Rotary clubs around the world during World Polio Month.

Polio can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis and death.

Venters said one of the primary side effects he had with polio that affected his life most when he was a child was having a weakness in his muscles.

As a result of his weakness, he had double vision. It was one of the things that affected him most as a child, he said.

Venters had Polio in 1949. Venters grew up in a small town in Arkansas.

After having cataracts surgery, Venters said his double vision was cured.

With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners want to sustain that progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine.

"We need to keep raising that awareness all around us," Venters said.

Fulton Rotary will produce purple pinkie donuts Oct. 25-29 at Jamolee's Bakery, 2600 North Bluff Street.

Rotary teamed up with Jamolee's Bakery to raise money for Polio Plus by selling donuts.

For every $2.50 donated, participants will receive a free purple pinkie donut, which is a long john topped with a dab of purple icing.

The icing represents the purple paint that is placed on children's pinkie fingers in developing countries after they receive the polio vaccine.

Through a matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, each $2.50 donation becomes a total of $4.50.

Donations can also be made by ordering a box of a dozen "Pinkies" for $25, which will become a donation of $39 per box.

To purchase donuts, visit either Fulton Rotary's Facebook page or their Eventbrite page.