Photos: Jack & Jan Collier and a typical iron lung
Born in Kenya in 1941, Former Rotarian, Jack Collier, contracted Poliomyelitis at the age of 13 whilst at boarding school in Nairobi Then began a long and painful journey to recovery. The disease caused Jack to experience complete paralysis and extreme difficulty breathing. He was unable to walk, to breathe unaided, or to use his hands. He spent nine months in an iron lung which enabled him to keep breathing.
Jack recounted his story as guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Armadale on 23rd October.  From the age of five, Jack was sent to a boarding school in Nakura, some 150 miles from his family home. Later,  aged ten, he was transferred to another boarding school in Nairobi, 500 miles away, travelling alone by train. It was at that boarding school 3 years later, that he contracted Polio along with many of his fellow students. Some did not survive. 
His very moving story helped us all be a little more aware of why we need to see the End Polio Now project continue until there is not a trace of this disease left on earth.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of five. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can then attack the nervous system and in some cases lead to paralysis.
In the early 20th century, polio was one of the most feared diseases in industrialized countries, paralysing hundreds of thousands of children every year. Soon after the introduction of effective vaccines in the 1950s and 1960s however, polio was brought under control and practically eliminated as a public health problem in these countries.
Thankfully, through the efforts of Rotarians worldwide, partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a massive global vaccination programme has seen it almost disappear from the face of the earth. 
Jack is a survivor and has managed to live a very fulfilled life. He is still working as a pilot for oversized loads on Australia's main roads. He does, however, have some remaining disabilities.  Over a few years from 2014, Jack was part of a support crew for he Rotary Club of Armadale's Craig Alford as he rode a ride-on lawn lawnmower across and around Australia in the Ride-to-the Other Side, charity fundraising event for Australian Rotary Health and End Polio Now.  Some of that support crew attended the recent meeting at Armadale Rotary as Jack told his story.

Photo: (L to R) Jack Collier with former Ride-to-the-Other-Side team members, Gary Smith, Michael van der Zanden, Craig Alford, Kim Larsen & Geoff Woodard.