When I was a kid, people were terrified that anyone in their family could be stricken with polio and become a lifelong victim of what was called infantile paralysis.
The public felt helpless, keeping their kids out of schools, movie theaters, ballgames and anywhere there were crowds and possible contagion. How can anyone feel safe around a disease that could infect anyone, even a United States president?
The March of Dimes raised millions for research and also to help with the cost of wheelchairs and those breathing machines they called “iron lungs.”
Then all the money and research finally paid off when Dr. Jonas Salk created the final breakthrough with his vaccine. Now, you get a shot — you don’t get polio.
On Tuesday, you did your part, Arizona, with your pledges during KTAR’s Action For Autism broadcast. Autism is a complex series of mysteries, just as polio was. It may not be anything like a vaccine, but remarkable things always happen when remarkable people like you get together with the equally remarkable people at SARRC (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center).
Together, we raised $360,000.
I’m Pat McMahon.