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At just six months old Colins parents took him to the
doctor concerned he was unwell. The doctor told
them he was teething, but his mum noticed soon
after that he couldn’t lift his legs and after returning
to the doctor was diagnosed with Polio. The rest of
his childhood saw him in and out of hospital having
a number of extreme and invasive surgeries with the
objective of improving his quality of life. Colin's
lifelong battle with Polio has seen him permanently
rely on a Wheelchair, respiratory aids and now
increasing difficulties brought on by Post Polio
Syndrome (PPS). Over the decades he has
become ingrained in the fight for disability
rights and a vocal supporter of The British Polio
Fellowship and our Rotary liaison ambassador.
“I joined Rotary 12 years and quickly discovered
that although Rotarians had been focused on the
End Polio Now campaign for a number of years
previously, the majority had never met or heard the
life story of a polio survivor. I soon got invited to speak at District Conferences and Assemblies, Foundation and Paul Harris gathering. This snowballed into being invited to participate in a number of meetings held in Committee Rooms within The Houses of Parliament alongside representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF. I’ve also participated in presenting petitions to HM Government resulting in them pledging to fund £400 million for polio vaccines and medical personnel to inject young children in poorer countries throughout the World.
I also had the honour and privilege of meeting Bill Gates the Philanthropist ex-Boss of Microsoft who thanked me for all my advocacy work for global eradication. More recently during lockdown I’ve focussed on speaking to Rotary Clubs via Zoom to both raising awareness on global polio eradication coupled with highlighting polio survivors for whom the polio vaccine arrived too late.” – Colin Powell
Colin offers an incredible insight into the life of a Polio survivor and boast a wealth of knowledge that will truly change your perspective of those living with the effects of Polio and PPS. Those who have attended one of his talks have always had nothing but positive feedback.
“I’ll be totally honest with you and tell you that your talk has been the most captivating and impactful speaker event to date You are living life as it was intended to be lived, to educate, inspire and bring positive change to this world and leave a message that forms future generations to come - especially once Polio is eradicated“
“Lovely to hear you speak, you spoke so well and it shows just how much can be achieved with such grit and determination. Would have been so easy for you to have just given up so early but you fought on and have really achieved such a huge amount that you can be truly proud of.”
“Many thanks for your powerful and thought provoking talk yesterday. It really was a wake-up call to realise that both at a club and a global level Rotary has paid little attention to the needs of polio survivors, despite the awareness it has of the awful effects of the disease. “
If you would like to book Colin to speak at one of your speaker events please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.