Eradication of Polio is just Two Drops Away!
Since 2005 I have traveled to Ethiopia with Rotary International working toward the eradication of polio by vaccinating one child at a time with the polio oral vaccine. Just think one child at a time saved from a life of paralysis. It is important for me to personally give of myself. It's my time in life to get the message out that this crippling disease still exists today. The children in the world who still suffer from polio along with prevention and rehabilitation are the purpose of my Foundation. The eradication of polio is my passion. Traveling to Africa to improve the life of those affected is my mission.
Denny at age 5, after his first surgery
Denny in the 4th grade doing promotional work for the March of Dimes. Daily Olympian, 1956
As a child I had polio and I'm often asked how my life was impacted. That is a difficult question for me because I didn't let it have a negative impact on my life. However, the truth of the matter is that it had a minimal impact on my life because I was fortunate enough to be born in the United States. I was given excellent care by family orthopedic surgeons and provided funding for surgeries by donations from organizations such as the March of Dimes and Orthopedic Guilds. My mother was a single mom with limited funds for raising myself and two brothers. It is now time for me to give back.
The Denny Wilford Foundation is working toward the prevention and elimination of polio worldwide along with the ongoing rehabilitation of polio sufferers. In Ethiopia there are thousands of people still affected by this disabling disease, limited to a life of crawling and begging. During our travels throughout Ethiopia, we saw many people struggling with mobility due to polio, having missed out on the polio vaccine.
Denny vaccinating an infant in Ethiopia
This mother is happy that her child will not have polio
My logo, Just 2 Drops, depicts the two drops of polio vaccine that it takes to prevent one child from contracting polio. Just 2 Drops, one child at a time and we will eradicate polio from the world.
At Cheshire Disability Center in Menagesha, Ethiopia, children suffering from polio are given post-surgery physical therapy. Through the help of many Rotarians and others, we have built a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy facility. Since its dedication in 2016, it has greatly assisted in the physical rehabilitation of several hundred victims of polio and other maladies.
Hydrotherapy facility under construction, 2014
The hydrotherapy facility on dedication day
Physical therapist Sarah assisting with a patient
Hydrotherapy facility at work
With the success of the efforts of the Rotary program in Ethiopia, we have extended our efforts into Uganda. Our current focus is the Freidis Disability Center in Lira, Uganda. Lira and the region have survived a lengthy war. In the wake of this 22-year war, the Lira region is in need of basic human resources. The Denny Wilford Foundation has begun a program to assist the Freidis Center with hospital equipment so that the disability center can perform surgeries and birthing deliveries in safe and sanitary conditions, which are badly needed in the region. In August, 2018 our initial container of hospital equipment was delivered to Freidis. The local and national Ugandan officials stated that this effort would greatly improve the medical services in the region. Each year we continue to ship a container of medical equipment, other clinical supplies, community outreach items such as hygiene items like soap and dental products and, of course, soccer uniforms and soccer balls.
The Disability Center services are free to patients. Instead, funding is provided by the Freidis Day Care, Elementary School and Teachers' College, and people like you.
A wheelchair provided by the Wilford Foundation
Cara Lee and Denny visiting Jimmy at Freidis
Students using desks provided by the Wilford Foundation
The Denny Wilford Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. All funding is provided through fundraising, solicitation and direct contributions from Denny Wilford. Denny Wilford finances nearly all administrative costs allowing beneficiaries to receive maximun benefit from your valued contributions.
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