The Lighthouse

                                                         Coastal Empire Polio Survivors Association, Inc.

                                                                                          Newsletter March, 2011

                                                                                                               Vol. XIV, No. 3

Shining Light on Post-Polio Health                                                                          


The President’s Message…   



We are only a few weeks away from having one of our best speakers ever. Dr. Holly Wise is one of the foremost authorities on post-polio syndrome and all the related problems that come along with it. This is definitely one meeting you do not want to miss. Make a list of questions you might like to ask her. I’m sure she will try to answer as many as she can. Since we are expecting a large group (members, hopefully PT students, PTs, OTs, Doctors, caregivers, etc), we are moving the meeting from our usual meeting room at Candler Heart and Lung building, up the block slightly to the Marsh Auditorium at the main entrance to Candler Hospital. Signs will be placed on Reynolds Street, advising you where to turn for the main entrance from either direction. We will have greeters at the door directing you once inside. Please make every effort to attend and bring along family members, your caregiver and anyone else you feel might benefit from hearing Dr. Wise speak.

We enjoyed our speaker at out February meeting, Mr. Gordon Matthews. He spoke and had a wonderful slide presentation about his time in India administering the polio vaccine to many children. He spoke about the problems that they encountered while there. I think all who attended came away very impressed.


I will be having my second meeting with the Rotary Clubs for getting this year’s walk off the ground in two weeks. We are more than halfway in achieving the 200 million dollars that Rotaries across America are required to raise. Just think of a world completely free of the polio virus that has caused us to suffer not once, but twice as we age. Let’s make a really strong push this year to surpass what we raised the past two years. CEPSA has lead the way and has shown the Rotaries what a strong force we can be. Believe me when I tell you, the five Rotaries we partner with are well aware of the fact that “We’re Still Here.”


Care Team Leaders, remember to call not only your active members but all your inactive members as well.  Remind them of the wonderful opportunity to come and hear Dr. Wise, who might just make a huge difference in how they deal with the rest of their lives.

We are repeating the flyer we had in last month’s newsletter on page 4 just in case you missed it.

Jim Veccia, President


CEPSA Minutes for February 26, 2011

President Jim Veccia opened the meeting at 10:30 am and welcomed our speaker, Gordon Matthews, Doug Masini, from Armstrong Atlantic, and new member Brenda Mills, who introduced herself.  She is from California and contracted polio when she was five years old.  She moved to Savannah because her daughter lives here.

Terri Dunnermann asked people to sign up to do the inspiration at a future meeting.


Founder Cheryl Brackin led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Terri Dunnermann read “Happiness is a Journey” from a book edited by Cheryl Boyd for the inspiration. 


Jim Veccia introduced Gordon Matthews, District Governor – Elect of Rotary International’s District 6920 in southeast Georgia.  He did an excellent presentation on his experiences in India when he vaccinated children for polio and other diseases.  Rotary began its efforts to eradicate polio when the number of cases was 400,000 worldwide.  There are 2,000 cases worldwide today. 

Mr. Matthews described living conditions, how cases were identified, how and where the immunizations are done and the location of cases in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He explained Rotarians’ Role in Polio Eradication, including financial support, social mobilization and encouragement, quick operational responsiveness, advocacy for endorsement and results with political and religious leaders in the area.


He stated that the lack of healthcare and poor sanitary conditions add to the spread of the disease.  Also, some people can be carriers and cannot be identified.


He ended by answering several questions from the group.



Business Meeting

Jim Veccia called the meeting to order at 11:55 am.


The minutes of the January 22, 2011 meeting were approved as written.

Marty Foxx gave the Treasurer’s Report and it was approved as presented.


Care team leaders reported the following member concerns: Lorraine Frew, Eunice Newcomer, Betty Goff and Danny Jenkins.  Tony Tedona has moved to his sister’s house, his phone number remains the same but he will not be attending meetings.


Marty Foxx reported that she received Thank You notes from Beverly Jarvis and Harriet Merritt.


Cheryl Brackin stated that Patrina Johnson suggested that we publish our members’ polio stories in a book and on our website.  She stated that the members could write there own stories and submit them to Cheryl, who will get them typed.  Penny Smith and Raye Rozek volunteered to help her type them.

Jim Veccia asked everyone to take flyers regarding Holly Wise being at our March meeting from the back table and give them to our doctor’s offices, drug stores and others.  Care team leaders were asked to call active AND inactive members to remind them to attend the meeting.


Jim reported that someone donated a tub chair to CEPSA.  It will be given to Archie Ivey.


Jim asked Adrienne Stallworth to thank her husband Ed for our beautiful nametags.

Attendance:  Tom Schendorf, Janet DiClaudio, Sissy Morel, Terri Dunnermann, Michael Dunnermann, Beverly Jarvis, Richard Graham, Marty Foxx, Raye Rozek, Jack Rozek, Gigi Veccia, Jim Veccia, Larry Richter, Charlotte Richter, Archie Ivey, Harvey Varnadoe, Cheryl Brackin, Marge Lampke, Jim Lampke, Adrienne Stallworth, Doug Masini, Gordon Matthews, Dick Warden, Barbara Warden, Brenda Mills and Ann Chance.


The meeting was adjourned at 12:25 pm.




Betty Goff                   Harvey Varnadoe

Eunice Newcomer       Diane Davis

Betty Johnson              Dot Parhurst

Terri Dunnermann       Beverly Polin

Velma Underwood

Adrienne and Ed Stallworth


HAPPY BIRTHDAY                                          


Barry Turner – 2

Thelma Tillotson – 4                

Tony Tedona – 5

Lavonne Calandra – 7

Glenda Walker – 14

Terri Dunnermann – 18

Roy Tillotson – 24



Tom Newcomer – 2

Jim Lampke – 3

Sissy Morel – 6

Marty Foxx – 8

Fred Davis – 11


Did you know that wearing green is strictly a U.S. custom, as the color of green is considered unlucky in Ireland?  Green is connected to an old green flag at a time when Ireland was not free….


CEPSA wishes to offer our deepest condolences to Ed and the family of Gloria Sullivan. Gloria was a member for over ten years. She always brought a smiling face to our meetings. Due to increased problems she was not able to attend many meetings in recent years. The members who knew her, will definitely miss her. The ones who didn’t, missed out knowing a wonderful lady!


New vaccine to assist worldwide eradication of polio

Scientists at the University of Leeds are joining the global fight to eradicate polio by developing a new type of vaccine that can trick the body to develop immunity against the disease.

The project has been awarded $500,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, through the World Health Organisation, and aims to be effective against all polio subtypes.

Led by Professor Dave Rowlands and Dr Nicola Stonehouse from the University's Faculty of Biological Sciences, the research team will design a replica virus particle that looks and behaves like the real virus, but is actually an empty protein shell.

The researchers believe the hoax virus will trigger the body's immune system, but because it does not contain the genetic blueprint that replicates the virus inside the body, has no chance of causing or helping to spread the disease.

"This is an entirely new strategic approach against polio," says Dr Stonehouse. "This project is not about improving the efficiency of the current types of vaccine. Our intention is to design and produce a replica virus particle that carries no RNA cargo. This means it will be entirely safe to use as it can't ever cause the disease, and unlike current vaccines, can be produced without needing to grow large amounts of the infectious virus."

Current polio vaccines in use around the world are either delivered orally or injected, but contain either a weakened form of the virus, or an inactivated virus to kickstart the immune response.  Whilst these have been extremely successful in reducing polio globally, the virus persists in several countries and unexpected outbreaks still occur.

"What excites me about this project is that we're working towards a risk-free vaccine that will be essential for the complete eradication of polio from the globe," adds Dr Stonehouse. "As well as being safe to produce and use, it will be stable enough not to need refrigeration and could be injected as part of current childhood vaccination programmes."

Although a similar approach using replica virus particles has been used successfully to create the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer, the complexity of the polio virus creates significant additional challenges.

"With polio, the virus particle's surface matures and changes because of the genetic material inside, and so ensuring that our replica particle mimics this surface exactly is not going to be easy. Since it's essentially an empty protein shell, it also has to be robust enough that it doesn't fall apart," explains Professor Rowlands. "This will be an iterative process, where we keep testing, refining and improving the particles we design until we achieve exactly the right structure and surface."

"We believe that if the project is successful, this new approach could help to completely eradicate this disease for good."

Image: Structure of polio virus as determined by X ray crystallography

Credit: James Hogle, Harvard University       Featured In: Academia News


The Coastal Empire Polio Survivors Association is a non-profit corporation which is tax exempt under IRS code 501c(3). We have no paid employees, only volunteers dedicated to helping all polio survivors.
Your financial support is appreciated at any level suggested below:
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