Yesterday was the birth date of Jonas Salk.
I missed writing about this because I was sewing Halloween bags for my beautiful, healthy nephews.
October 28th is a historic date for many reasons.
- I sewed a Halloween Bag- I will let that one sink in a bit. Yes, I sewed. A bag.
- More importantly, it is the birthdate of Jona Salk.
Jonas Salk was a medical researcher who developed and discovered one of the first Polio vaccines.
We really don’t talk about Polio. We used to talk a lot about Polio. In 1953 it was the most feared disease in the US. 60,000 people were diagnosed.
In 2019 there were 78 cases worldwide
Thank you Dr. Salk.
Polio is a virus in which there is no cure but thanks to worldwide efforts, and a collaborative to vaccinate children in remote parts of the world, Jona Salk deserves a birthday worth celebrating.
The Polio vaccine was created out of the ‘killed’ polio virus. Dr Salk injected himself to see if he would either develop Polio or develop an immunity to the virus.
He develop an immunity.
And so he injected his lab assistant, his wife and their children; all developed Polio antibodies. In 1954, testing began on 1 million children known as the Polio Pioneers. The vaccine changed the life and continues to change the life of many, many children.
He never patented his vaccine or earned any money- instead he insisted it be distributed as widely as possible.
“Can you patent the sun?” He asked
I think that is deserving of a birthday cake.
This past year I have been so very fortunate to speak with leaders in this rare disease space. I am in awe of their passion and commitment to make this world a better place and our time in it as optimal as possible.
Would I have injected myself with the Polio virus?
I thought about it for a quick second. If someone looked at me with a Mito ‘killed virus’ and said, “it might kill you or the cure could save your Littles.”
Yeah, there’s a good vein right here.
There is no Mito “killed virus” but these stories give me hope. How far we have come from 1955. I imagine my parents as Littles lining up for the Polio vaccine, rubbing their arms after a quick shot, not knowing how their fate many have changed.
I imagine my grandparents breathing a sigh of relief.
And I still imagine a cure for what we face now. I am proud to know many Jonas Salk’s in the world of mitochondria.
There’s a good vein right here.
Happy Birthday Dr. Salk.