Eradicating polio is a priority for both the Key Biscayne Rotary Club and Rotary International.
“I come from a generation where you could not say the word polio,” said local Rotarian Pat Peraita. “It was tabu and scary. Although I did not suffer from the disease, I have friends who did.”
That is why Peraita and his fellow Rotarians work to increase awareness and education on the effects of this debilitating disease to a generation that does not know about the effects of polio -- or the fact that, while there is no cure, it can be controlled with a simple vaccine. Currently, there are only three countries that are endemic, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Rotary International believe it’s important to raise polio awareness across the globe. Polio is a virus that typically spreads through contaminated water and attacks the nervous system. In some cases, it leads to paralysis and even death.
The event, “Breath in… Polio out” is a screening of the movie “Breathe,” a true story of love, courage and determination. It tells the story of Robin Cavendish, who, in the 1950s was stricken with polio at age 28 but went on to live a rich life of adventure and advocacy despite being paralyzed and requiring a respirator. The film’s producer, Jonathan Cavendish, is his son. Watch BREATHE trailer here.
This is the third polio fundraising event that Pat Peraita, with her partner Pat Romano, have taken on. Each embodies Pat’s philosophy of “do good while having fun.” Her last event, Dance fFor Those Who Can’t, was a huge success.
What makes these fundraising events so successful is that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates $2 for each $1 raised locally. Pat wants parents to bring their children to the “Breathe” screening so they can learn about the disease. She also advocates for parents to vaccinate their children to keep polio from coming back.
Come, watch a movie, have some fun, and help the Rotarians eradicate polio worldwide.
What: KB Rotary screening of the movie “Breathe”
When: 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24
Where: Auditorium at St. Agnes, Key Biscayne
Suggested donation: $20 for adults, $8 students (Rum drinks available with additional donation)
Tickets are available at IberiaBank, Square Shopping Center; the Islander News office at 104 Crandon, Suite 301; Pat and Pat Coldwell Banker Power Team, 977 Crandon Blvd.; Coldwell Banker Key Biscayne at 328 Crandon Blvd Suite 126 or by calling Pat Peraita at (305) 496-3459