Life Before Post-Polio Syndrome: A Polio Survivor's Stories

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9781511856416: Life Before Post-Polio Syndrome: A Polio Survivor's Stories
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Note: All proceeds from sales of this paperback and the eventual kindle version will be donated to the PolioPlus Fund of the Rotary International Organization, which supports the Rotary's efforts to eradicate polio. This unusual and highly engaging memoir is presented like a sandwich. In the top layer, the author, Kerry Jacobson, describes his hospitalization with bulbar polio and subsequent treatment in 1952. He was seven years old. His account provides a glimpse into a world doing its best to cope with a terrifying and deadly epidemic. This opening chapter was originally published as a blog post and constituted Jacobson's decision to "come out" as a polio survivor. He believed that he and too many of his peers, fearing the 1950's polio stigma, had successfully hidden their illnesses and unwittingly allowed people to remain unaware of the threat polio continues to pose. Writing about his hospitalization unexpectedly inspired the rest of the sandwich. The sandwich filling is the seventeen stories drawn from the fifties and sixties: between 1952, when Jacobson was seven, to 1968, when he was twenty-three. These were the years of "relative stability" when polio symptoms tend to remain stable and ,for the author, allowed him to live "Life Before Post Polio Syndrome". Remember teen dances at the Community Center? high school football? fraternity parties? These humorous, irreverent stories will introduce you to memorable characters including Grandma Dix, Kippy Myers, Stonewall Jacobson, and the unruly Beta Nation. The stories take place in three settings: Des Moines, Iowa where the author grew up and a place he still holds close to his heart; Lake Forest Academy, where Jacobson attended boarding school for two years, seven months, and eight days; and Stanford University where he wishes he had studied more as an undergraduate. There's even a side trip to Mexico. The bottom piece of the sandwich is the Retrospective, where the author candidly - at times confessionally - re- examines the impact of polio on his life, and realizes that he must dramatically change his view of who he is. I'm willing to wager that these memoirs bring lol ( "laugh out loud" ) moments and even a tear or two. P.S. The document referred to at the end of Chapter Five is available at http://www.61145kj.com/img024.jpg. Help EndPolio Now!

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