A Life Without Boundaries

Speaker’s Life Inspires to See and End to Polio

Phil Kerber, member of the St. Croix Falls Rotary, asked me to share a story from his old stomping grounds in Waterloo, IA.  Phil has been a member of Rotary for long time and has many stories to tell, but the story of Doug Oberman’s fight with Polio has an important heart touching message that inspires Phil and many other Rotarians fighting to eradicate Polio.

Doug Oberman was only eight years old when he contracted polio. He was in a coma for ten days and when he woke up he found he could not move his arms or legs. He spent 18 months in a polio ward at University of Iowa hospital, with three of those months spent in an iron lung.

Today, Doug still cannot use his arms and sleeps each night in an iron lung. He never recovered from the effects of polio, but with his family’s support and encouragement, he participated fully in life.

“Because I couldn’t use my arms, I had to use my brain,” he said.

He became a lawyer and joined Swisher & Cohrt law firm in Waterloo in 1972. Doug joined the Rotary Club of Waterloo and became involved in raising money to eradicate polio throughout the world. He was the keynote speaker at the 2002 Rotary International Convention in Barcelona, Spain, doing his part to gain enthusiastic support for polio eradication.

To read the full story, click HERE.

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