To commemorate World Polio Day Oct. 24, San Jose attorney Craig Needham appeared at the Rotary Club of Los Altos meeting to share his family’s history with the disease and to advocate for worldwide polio immunization.
Needham’s mother, Jane Boyle Needham, was a happily married mom of three in 1949. She and her husband had just built their dream home in Palo Alto and were vacationing at Lake Tahoe when her life suddenly changed irreversibly. While swimming in the lake, she contracted the poliovirus. The next day she experienced excruciating pain, drove home and was diagnosed with bulbar polio at age 27, paralyzing her motor nerves from the neck down.