Polio survivors find strength together

Mary Jane Bishop, left, of the Village of Hemingway, who is the new leader of the Power Over Polio support group, spends a few moments with JoAn and Don Suttle, right, of the Village Alhambra, who were the founders of the group 20 years ago.

The Power Over Polio Support Group is getting ready to mark 20 years of overcoming. Members of the support group all contracted polio before the vaccine was widely available. In those days, polio outbreaks caused more than 15,000 cases of paralysis annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Members of the group remember the joy of the vaccine’s announcement in 1955, though they wouldn’t personally benefit from it. On Jan. 10, the group will mark its 20th anniversary, and members like Barbara Meyers are ready to celebrate their accomplishments. “We learn to overcome,” the Village of Chatham resident said. “My goodness, we learn to overcome.”

Don and JoAn Suttle, of the Village of Alhambra, founded Power Over Polio in 2000.

Don was diagnosed with polio in 1952 at 15 years old.

Read this story and many others in Saturday’s edition of the Daily Sun.