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Post-Polio Health (ISSN 1066-5331)

Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer 2013

Learning to Dance in the Rain

Vaneetha Rendall, Raleigh, North Carolina

“Why do you walk like that?”

That single question haunted me for years. Young children would boldly demand an answer as they pointed at me. Adults would not dare to voice the question, but looked puzzled as they watched me walk. And I, I would ask myself that question daily as
I struggled to understand why I had to be different from everyone else.

When I was in elementary school, none of my classmates were familiar with polio.

With the vaccine’s development in the ‘50s, polio had become a disease that my friends had just heard about from their parents. Even in India, where I was born in 1964, the disease was almost eradicated although there were sporadic outbreaks since the vaccine was not given to infants less than 6 months old.

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