Polio ambassador and survivor Colin Powell speaks out

Polio ambassador and survivor Colin Powell speaks out

Meet our latest Purple4Polio campaign ambassador.

Colin Powell fell ill with polio in 1949 when aged just 6 months old. An innocent swimming trip with father turned into paralysing his life.

The nastiness of polio is the same now as it was then.

In 2009, Colin joined Radlett Rotary Club after delivering a talk and is now joining a new aspect of Rotary as a Purple4Polio ambassador.

Due to his experiences, he is both passionate and committed to Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

Colin not only promotes the global eradication of polio, but also supports those, like himself, suffering the horrendously of Post-Polio Syndrome with the British Polio Fellowship.

“I can do anything that I want to do in this life, if I want to do it badly enough. Otherwise polio has provided me with a built-in excuse.” Colin commented.

“You have one visit to this planet, so it’s up to you whether or not you waste your journey here.”

“My life has been a struggle full of a multiplicity of physical challenges, but on the other hand nobody promised me an easy ride.”

“Rotary must win their End Polio Now campaign battle, in order to ensure that no child born today has to suffer throughout their lives like myself and all the other multi-millions of remaining polio survivors throughout the world.”

Colin already holds the office of Rotary Liaison Ambassador from the British Polio Fellowship. Now in his dual ambassadorial role, he is in a unique position to ensure the aspirations of both Rotary and the British Polio Fellowship work in harmony.

His ultimate wish is to see a world free from such a cruel disease and that no child born in the future will have to experience a lifetime of suffering as a polio survivor.

Rotary must win their End Polio Now campaign battle, in order to ensure that no child born today has to suffer”

Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative just over 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.99%, from about 350,000 cases a year in 125 countries to just 22 cases in 2017.

To sustain this progress and protect all children from polio, kindly, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s $50 million per year commitment 2:1.

Colin is among eight other Rotary ambassadors. The majority have witnessed polio first hand, but they all have a shared vision to immunise every child and protect them from the dreadful disease.

Book Colin as a speaker

If you wish for Colin to be a speaker at your event, to maximize the value of his energy, it needs to be a large gathering such as a district, regional or national conferences, or similar.

He does not charge a speaker’s fee, but merely requests that he and his carer’s travelling and accommodation costs are reimbursed.

Despite being wheelchair bound, he travels extensively both throughout the UK and overseas.

Colin would love to come and talk to your Rotary or community event to help you raise the profile and awareness of the Rotary End Polio Now campaign.

Contact Colin by emailing direct to arrange for him to come and talk at your event.


Published: Tuesday 27th March 2018