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LA MIRADA ROTARIAN MILWARD RIDES TO FIGHT POLIO, RAISED OVER $2,000

ROTARIAN RIDES SO OTHERS MAY WALK -- La Mirada Rotarian Paul Milward completed a 106 mile ride against polio in Tuscon, Arizona on November 18.  Milward, whose father suffered from the effects of polio, raised thousands of dollars to fight the disease.

ROTARIAN RIDES SO OTHERS MAY WALK — La Mirada Rotarian Paul Milward completed a 106 mile ride against polio in Tuscon, Arizona on November 18. Milward, whose father suffered from the effects of polio, raised thousands of dollars to fight the disease.

La Mirada Rotarian Paul Milward has cycled to another milestone in his effort to raise funds to end polio — a vaccine preventable disease that still threatens to paralyze children in several parts of the world today.

In recent months Milward raised more than $2,000 for the fight against polio.  He then travelled to Tucson, Arizona at his own expense, and rode in his third annual Tour de Tucson ride against polio on November 18. Milward made the 106 mile ride as a tribute in memory of his father, Charles Milward, a Santa Fe Springs businessman who suffered from the effects of childhood polio.

“No child should have to suffer from this terrible disease,” says Milward. “While polio is now largely unseen in the United States, it is really just a plane ride away from our shores.”

“In order to prevent new cases of this debilitating disease, Rotary works to eradicate polio in nations where it still exists,” adds Rotarian Christopher Robinson, M.D.  “Rotary and the medical community also stress the importance of continuing preventative inoculations in our country.”

“Eradication of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985, and its progress towards this goal has been nothing short of remarkable,” says La Mirada Rotary President Zurich Lewis.  “Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative some 30 years ago, the number of polio cases has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 a year to 37 confirmed cases in 2016.”

More than 16 million children around the world are estimated to be walking because of the success of the polio vaccine.

Rotary became involved with the El Tour de Tucson in 2009.  By 2016 Rotary cyclists riding in the race and in gyms and health clubs around the world raised $13.5 million bringing the seven year fund raising total to more than $35 million.  Since it costs 60 cents to immunize a child, Rotary officials indicate that participating cyclists have raised enough money to purchase more than 58 million doses of polio vaccine.

Other organizations partnering in the fight to end polio are: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, experts have said $1.5 billion is needed. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.

Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion to ending polio since 1985, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation. The Rotary Club of La Mirada and members of the local community have supported the campaign against polio.

Contributions to end polio can be sent to the Rotary Club of La Mirada at P.O. Box 248, La Mirada, CA 90637-0248. Checks should be made payable to the Rotary Foundation.

The Rotary Club of La Mirada meets on Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. at Sizzlers Restaurant on Rosecrans Avenue.  Meetings feature interesting speakers and roundtable discussions.  Visitors are welcome to attend. Information on the Rotary Club of La Mirada can be found by visiting its website or on Facebook.

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