PET MO-Columbia update 3/31/14

PETs produced since January 1, 2014: 287

The news on my radio this morning was that India is now polio free – a
tremendous accomplishment. Our daughter reports that when she went to India
in 2001 she had to have a polio shot. That leaves only a very few small
spots to clear, mainly Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. One of the reasons
for starting PET was to provide mobility for polio patients, Some
reflections:

*** Polio was rampant in Missouri when our children were small, in the
1950’s. Barbara and I had to make decisions about leaving home, especially
in the summer. Should we go to church? Should we have a family gathering?
Should the local school start in September? Swimming pools and some other
public places were often closed.

*** Iron lungs became a new phenomenon to keep alive polio patients whose
upper body was affected. In Waco, TX, in about 1962, I visited a man about
25 years of age who had been in his iron lung for some 15 years. The lung
was a cylindrical device that covered the entire body from the neck down,
and provided a vacuum that enabled his lungs to work. Confined to his bed he
was a tropical fish expert, writing magazine articles and providing
outstanding photographs of tropical fish. His large bedroom was surrounded
by large fish tanks. He was a man of tremendous will and creativity.

*** Some 30 years ago the “post-polio” syndrome made itself known, as the
disease revisited those who had an earlier bout with it. The Habitat for
Humanity International board had on it three men who noticeably limped. All
were experiencing post-polio.

*** Rotary International has been a major player in ridding the world of
polio, providing millions of dollars in funds, and giving leadership around
the world. The last “Rotarian” magazine asked Rotarians to keep on giving,
for “we are almost there.” It has been a lesson in persistence and
faithfulness.

*** PET has partnered with the Rotarians in a number of countries in
shipping PETs to persons leg-handicapped by polio, and we will continue to
do so. A recent large shipment of PETs went to Sierra Leone, a region
heavily troubled by polio. A shipment of 200 PETs, all child sized, will go
to India next month, many for children who have suffered polio.

ZambiaForgeKatutaBoyCrop(See attached stories of PET recipients where polio was involved. Both just happen to be from Zambia, but the person(s) who distributed did not happen
to be there for that purpose.)

1. A little boy named Katuta was staying at a FORGE camp (western US college student mission to help persons in refugee camps). FORGE asked for help with mobility. They submitted 32 reports like the attached, and PET Zambia supplied the PETs. We have supported Zambia with distribution expense funds, completed PETs, and supplies to build there since the beginning -originally in Zaire.

2. A man from IL was on a mission to dig wells and ended up getting a PET for Ireen.

Every time you donate $250+ you help create another story like one of the
above. Kathy Maynard)

************************************************************

*** The major message is THAT THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED IF WE HAVE THE WILL TO DO SO. Some folks had the will to do away with smallpox, and it
is no more. In 1986 3.2 million people in Africa suffered from the very debilitating Guinea Worm. The Carter Center, in Atlanta, has almost eradicated it from this Earth.

*** PET has the goal of providing appropriate mobility devices for everyone
in need in the world, starting first with those most in need, and joining
hands with others of like heart and mind. We can do it, but ONLY IF WE HAVE
THE WILL. If it is to be, it is up to us!

**************************************************************

“”I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.”

Mel West

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