SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Most remember polio as a disease that threatened the world in the late 1900s. Back then, over 350,000 cases were discovered annually. So far this year, there have only been 18.
Members of the Rotary International Club and guests gathered downtown on Wednesday to continue the fight against the disease.
“Coming from a history of rotarians, my whole family. My grandfather was heavily involved. He was a past district governor and a polio survivor. That really gets me excited,” Dona Occhipinti said.
Rotarians want to make sure you know there is still work to be done to fully eradicate polio. Current day, the only human disease that has been fully eradicated is small pox. Rotarians hope that polio will be added to that list in the next five to ten years.
“It’s exciting to really stand united with the front, with polio and the Bill Gates Foundation to finally eradicate that disease,” Occhipinti added.
After the main event, Rotarians gathered at City Hall where they were greeted by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. There, Walsh declared October 24, 2018 to be Rotary International World Polio Day in the city of Syracuse.