Bob Putney introduced our speaker, Jim Lewis. Jim is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Moorpark, but has previously been a member of both the Simi Sunrise and Conejo Valley Clubs since joining Rotary in December, 2001. Wearing many hats as a Rotarian, Jim serves currently as a Director for the Rotary Float Parade Committee, is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow recipient and a member of the Paul Harris Society as well as a Major Donor, member of the Bequest Society, and a Rotary Benefactor.

Not only has Jim attended five Rotary International Conventions, but he has traveled to India for eight National Immunization Days (NID’s), and has received the TRF International Service Award for a Polio-Free World at the RI Convention in Atlanta, 2017.

Not only has Jim served as Polio Plus Chair for District 5240, but Jim is a Polio Survivor, paralyzed in 1948, and also is a High School Coach, Teacher, and Administrator.

Jim Lewis is a survivor and advocate for the eradication of Polio. Because he got the virus on his parents 10th wedding anniversary, when he was a young boy, Jim travels the world to help Rotary International (RI) eradicate polio.

Eradicating Polio is the number one objective of RI, and it has been since they got involved in 1979. Although Polio is eradicated in the western hemisphere, there is still some work to do to eradicate this terrible disease.

As defined by the CDC, Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease. It is caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis (can’t move parts of the body).

Poliovirus only infects humans. It is very contagious and spreads through person-to -person contact. The virus lives in an infected person’s throat and intestines. It enters the body through the mouth and spreads through contact with the feces (poop) of an infected person and, though less common, through droplets from a sneeze or cough. You can get infected with poliovirus if you have feces on your

hands and you touch your mouth. Also, you can get infected if you put in your mouth objects like toys that are contaminated with feces (poop).

GPEI (Global Polio Eradication Initiative) is made up of ordinary people, doing extraordinary things. Those groups are from Rotary, WHO (world health organization), the CDC, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Jim is now an advocating for those who have Polio, and working hard to get those survivors the surgeries, calipers, wheelchairs, and vocational training. Jim says that the needs of polio survivors are great, and any bit helps.

Thank you Jim for such an important and inspirational talk.