When Jim Nelson became a Rotarian, the Polio Plus movement was just beginning. In Rockford, Illinois he attended a concert by a singer David M. Bailey and donated his first $100 towards the cause. David Bailey was a 30 year old man diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He was given 6 months to live, and through chemo and radiation and the use of a genetically modified polio virus lived for a long while, some 14 years and 6 months before passing away in October of 2010. When Jim attended David’s concert and heard of his journey, and then the very next speaker crawled to the stage and spoke of being a survivor. That was when it was “real” and that was the first of many $100’s donated since then toward the eradication of polio.
When Jim was planning his District Conference, he reached out to David’s people to see if David would write a song for the conference. It was then he learned that David had passed 4 years prior. He asked for and received permission to use his song “Keep on Walking” for his conference. PDG Jim also had the honor of attending a NID (National Immunization Day) in Nigeria, and last year in Pakistan. He reported, We are almost done….we really are….this close… If you have given to the campaign before, keep giving, there is still work to be done. If you haven’t given before, now is the time to join the movement and be a part of history in the making.
President Rex continued the theme…we often think, I am only one person, what kind of impact can I make? Then , we begin to think, what can 5 do? What can 25 do? What can other clubs do? The District? International? There is the multiplier effect of Rotary and it all starts with one idea. It’s then, “Look what we can do….and finally and hopefully, “here’s what we have done.” PDG Jim will be returning home to Illinois soon. We have certainly enjoyed his wisdom and his company over the last month or so. You are always welcome and can feel at home here at Gilbert Rotary.