My name is Cort Vaughan. One morning in 1954, when I was only 2 years old, my parents noticed that I had a fever and could not stand up. Polio was epidemic at the time, so my parents were terrified that I might have polio. They rushed me to the hospital, then waited for the doctor to come talk to them. Their worst fears were realized when the doctor told them that I had polio and may never walk again.
I spent 4 months in the hospital recovering from the polio infection and enduring daily physical therapy. Polio paralyzed my right leg. The hospital staff fitted my leg with a brace and taught me how to walk. Later as a teenager, I suffered through several surgeries to correct defects in my bones and muscles caused by polio. Thanks to quality medical care and modern technology, I can walk with the use of a brace.
Children in developing parts of the world are not so fortunate. I joined Rotary in 2011 to help eradicate polio. I don’t want another parent to worry about polio or another child to be paralyzed by this horrible disease. I have a history of fighting polio. I was a poster child for the March of Dimes in 1955 to help raise funds to vaccinate every child in America.
In 1988, Rotary International promised to wipe out polio by vaccinating every child in the world. An audacious commitment that all Rotarians should be proud of. Each year we help vaccinate 450 million children. We have literally chased polio to the ends of the earth, where polio hangs on in a remote area on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In 2012, I combined my passion for eradicating polio and my enjoyment of craft beer to found the Pints for Polio Pub Walk in Bend, Oregon. This annual event has raised over $210,000 for Rotary’s PolioPlus Fund. Pints for Polio is a fun pub walk where participants receive a commemorative End Polio Now cup and a map to participating pubs where they will receive a six ounce taste of delicious craft beer. The 2023 event will occur 1pm – 4pm on October 21st. Please join me in eradicating polio one pint at a time!