Home Polio How one embarrassing life experience made me hate polio – Joy Bolarin

How one embarrassing life experience made me hate polio – Joy Bolarin

by Sejoro Ekundayo

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that, one out of every 200 polio-infected persons faces the scary possibility of being paralysed permanently. The serious effects of polio prompted a concerted effort worldwide to fight this deadly disease.

The World Polio Day is observed annually on October 24, and the theme for this year is “Together, We End Polio”. The day is dedicated to creating awareness about the disease and supporting all initiatives to prevent it. This day is crucial in sensitising the world that polio vaccination is very essential and there is an ongoing fight against a disease that cripples many people in several countries.

Despite that Nigeria was declared free of wild polio in 2020, there are still some cases of polio in some northern states.

To commemorate the world polio day, In an interview with Inclusive News Network, the Executive Director of Jibore Impeccable Foundation, Joy Bolarin narrated her ordeal and nasty experience growing up as polio survivor that made her hate polio the most.

According to her, “this nasty experience got me thinking about trauma and psychological effects of polio on several children and my childhood experience came to mind.

“I was about 11 or 12 years old by the time I begin to hated polio the most, my mother told me I got paralyzed by polio at the age of 2 years old, there was no rehabilitation center for polio survivor in my country, you will just continue to live with it, no form of any training telling you what to do and what not to do.

“I played with other children in the neighborhood and we do have nice time playing together but sometimes, some of these children mock me and make jest of me because of the way I walk, and I will begin to cry and go home sad but that is always short lived, after a while, I will overlook it and continue to live my life but there is this particular nasty experience I can never forget.

“One day, my mother sent me to the market to buy some things, getting to the market, I bought those things I was sent to buy and set to be going back home, when without any warning my limb gave way and I fell down among the crowd, people run towards me to assist me pack my items scattered everywhere, I headed home on a very sad mood and emotionally hurt but I didn’t show it to the people around at the market.

“I pretended not to be disturbed by the fall, when I got home, I dropped the items and went inside my room to lie down without talking to anyone, I didn’t tell my parents about what happened at the market, I just see it as one of those embarrassing events that comes with polio, which affects my weak limb, I do fall sometimes before then but not among large crowd like that particular day.

“I was about to get over the sad event and pick myself up to come out and continue my normal life, when people that saw me fell at the market came home to open the fresh wound by telling my mother that she should not send me to the market again because I fell down at the market, my mother was surprised.

“She came to me in my room to ask me if it was true and I said yes, she asked why I didn’t tell her, I just kept quiet looking at her without saying anything, she couldn’t understand the emotional battle I go through, fighting on my mind about the devastating effects of polio, this event made me hate polio the more that particular day and it can’t be easily erased from my memory.

“As a polio survivor, I have experienced some other challenges, like the desire to participate in March past in school but my disability won’t grant me the opportunity to participate, I know am not the only one having some forms of limitation because polio when attack, can cause permanent disability.

“If you are a polio survivor reading this message, let’s hear from you about how polio has affected you too.

“Going by this year’s theme, It must be a collective responsibility of everyone not government alone to end polio by vaccinating our children regularly. Society need to show more empathy not pity.

“Polio survivor need to support each other to be able to cope well with this enormous challenges that come with polio.” She said.


Alimi Oluwatosin November 2, 2023 - 6:57 pm

We all need to rise and give our support to put an end to polio.
No to Polio
Safer Nigeria, we advocate for ✌️💯

IKEDIOBI GERALD November 3, 2023 - 10:57 pm

God will continue to protect and keep you safe ma

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:24 pm

Thanks so much for reading through

Ifalola Ibukun November 22, 2023 - 5:50 am

Having enough informations about Polio in not complete until steps are taken to tackle the deadly disease. Thank you Joy for creating a platform where those affected can be reached and rehabilitated. More grease to your elbow.

BENJAMIN OLUKAYODE November 2, 2023 - 7:20 pm

Polio can be devastating especially when it causes acute flaccid paralysis.

There are many lessons from your story…

The personal effort, the family support and the communal efforts ( even though their effort was embarrassing , they did it out of concern)

Physical impairment leads to disability which can lead to being handicapped.

You have became a master over your physical impairment .

I would not even regard it again a disability let alone called it being handicapped.

This your story gives hope for people that have being handicapped by their disability..

Keep on Shinning.

That power to rise is in everyone, just look inward.


Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:25 pm

Wow ,thanks Dr for reading and the enlightenment

TOLULOPE FADOJUTIMI November 2, 2023 - 7:26 pm

Thank God you survived it ma. God bless you for your hard work and support ma

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:26 pm

Am grateful

Shaba Roseline November 2, 2023 - 7:29 pm

I want to thank God for the life of the writer of this article Joy Bolarin that her destiny was not truncated by poliomyelitis.
My appeal to the Government is to try and creat more awareness of this deadly disease to the grass root of all states of the federation and make vaccines available so that it poliomyelitis can be a thing of the past.
Congratulations to you Joy Bolarin. I rejoice with you as a survivor.

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:26 pm

Thanks so much ma

Olu Glory November 2, 2023 - 7:38 pm

Thanks for sharing ma’am…………… as much as Government are trying to fight against polio, we as individuals should also understand more about polio and also educate people (especially those in rural areas) on the importance of getting children vaccinated regularly. Together we can fight against polio

Olanrewaju Kolawole November 3, 2023 - 6:22 pm

Though a polio survivor tells the story better, but the impact of the agony and pain are more felt by the society who are disturbed by what they see happening to polio patients..
THIS is a world War we must all fight to kick polio out of the universe STATING FROM YOU

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:27 pm

Together we end polio together, thanks daughter

Salami Blessing Abosede November 2, 2023 - 7:45 pm

Hmmm this is touching but thank God you survived it.All hands must be on deck to sensitize the masses,the government should realease the necessary materials needed for the campaign.

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:28 pm

Together we end polio

Benjamin Ruth November 2, 2023 - 7:50 pm

I love your story.

You’re indeed a survivor…

Keep winning ma’am 🙌

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:28 pm

Thanks so much

Abodunrin Adebola November 2, 2023 - 7:59 pm

As for me, i got affected by poliio after my three years birthday to the family of Six, am number five and totally different from them although they didn’t treat me like disable but the challenging moment is when i want to get married
To my surprise i don’t get problem with a lady but with their parents by not allowing them to married even in the same church. I looked rejected and disturbed.
I didn’t relent until I met my own and everything went straight and smooth. Not only any woman but a graduate. The married was bless with wonderful boys.
I was able to overcome my challenge associating with polio as a result of my parents who they never treat me as one.

Bolarin olayemi November 3, 2023 - 8:13 pm

Wow it a great lesson maybe the lord continue to lift you higher

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:29 pm

Thanks so much

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:34 pm

Brother thanks to God you were able to get your choice at last against all odds,many people with disability face challenge getting marry because of opposition from family members,let’s remember disability can happen to anyone and stop discriminating against people with disability,let’s see beyond physical disability and look into inner invisible strength and capability beyond physical deformity, people with disability are normal human being,give them condusive environment to thrive

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:45 pm

Brother thanks to God you were able to get your choice at last against all odds,many people with disability face challenge getting marry because of opposition from family members,let’s remember disability can happen to anyone and stop discriminating against people with disability,let’s see beyond physical disability and look into inner invisible strength and capability beyond physical deformity, people with disability are normal human being,give them condusive environment to thrive

Shola Bello November 2, 2023 - 8:03 pm

With this nasty experience you’ve passed through there is need for each and everyone of us to battle the terrible ie polio together with the Government

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:35 pm

Fighting polio should be collective responsibility

Shola Bello November 2, 2023 - 8:19 pm

Thanks for sharing it is high for each and everyone of us to understand the important of polio vaccine in our body and begin to educate the people even in the rural area

Joe November 2, 2023 - 9:35 pm

This is well captured and will help some other persons living with it to struggle to survive. God bless you ma’am.

Uncle Joe

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:35 pm

Thanks so much coach

Abdulsalam Hassanat Taiye November 2, 2023 - 9:47 pm

Talking about the ” The society need to show Empathy not Pity”
Most sensitization that is been carried out by the govt and some associations are mostly to show a kind of pity. For instance, when you want to celebrate World Polio Day and the so called polio survivor were not carried along or were given an impromptu notice about the sensitization. So who is descieving who ?

Secondly, the vaccinations Equipment ( released materials) provided does not reach the needy or were not even provided.
In Addition, Even if the sensitization were broadly spread, most parents of these so called polio survivor will not release their child / children to partake or mingle with their colleagues. So that people will not know that they have them in their mindst .
So as for me oo, I think these parents needs to be orientated about what it takes to care for a child/ children who happens to be a polio survivor including all the forms of physical disability.

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:36 pm

You nail it, empathy not sympathy or pity,more sensitization to prevent polio

Ismail Fatihu November 2, 2023 - 10:23 pm

I have heard stories by some other polio survivors but yours is so painful.

You are a true warrior and you have been of so much blessing to others.

I think what many people see as disability might as well be an opportunity for us to see a bigger part of us.

To all polio survivors, may the Lord Almighty continue to give you the strenght to keep up.

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:41 pm

Thanks so much

Bro. Oji O. Oji November 3, 2023 - 2:02 am

I thank God for your life as a polio survivor. I also appreciate you for recognising that what you have turned out to be is by His grace. He will continue to bless and use you as a model for both the able and disabled to His glory in Jesus Christ’s name amen. Ride on my beloved sister.

Joy November 5, 2023 - 6:47 pm

I appreciate God because His grace is sufficient for me, copying with polio not easy but His grace is sufficient for me, against all odds,am an overcomer because I obtain mercy

Eunice November 3, 2023 - 10:54 am

It was so great reading your story, ma’am Joy. Sharing this alone is victory. I know you are a conqueror already so keep winning. Together, we stand against all childhood killer diseases. Let’s spread the news far and wide.

Gambari Kayode November 3, 2023 - 4:19 pm

You are indeed an Overcomer.

Timothy Stanley Nyekpeye November 3, 2023 - 6:24 pm

Thanks for sharing!
God bless you ma’am!

Olusola Popoola November 3, 2023 - 6:32 pm

I am glad you follow the word that says When you are strengthened , strengthen others.
As important as stoping polio is and thank God grounds are being gained in that area, more important is helping those living with it to have an overcomers mindset like you.

Helping them have a positive mindset to life making them know and believe that they are not in anyway less important is a task we all must be committed to.
Congratulations madam.

Christiana Konlan November 3, 2023 - 6:34 pm

Thank God that is not a limitation even in this situation

Folorunsho Obafemi November 3, 2023 - 6:48 pm

The traumatic experience and psychological effects are too bad . Picking up again and prevention are necessary to curb the menace of polio.

Bilesanmi Dorcas November 3, 2023 - 6:55 pm

Reading through this story, my mind kept going through all the ordeal you faced. The shame and all the denial you went through ma’am, indeed you are a fighter, a strong one at that. You didn’t let that stop or break you, you kept breaking boundaries and today, you’re a shinning star among many, great icon of our days. I honour the grace of God on your life. This generation is blessed to have amazing people like you.
More people needs to hear and understand more on this Poliomyelitis. Ignorance and negligence might lead to this. We need to keep spreading the awareness. Thank you for this inspiring story 😄🤟

Musa Suleiman Macro November 3, 2023 - 6:57 pm

This overcoming story indeed is a great one to inspire others who may be going through polio and to further raise the awareness of polio treatment and support…thank you for sharing your experience with the world

Hussaina Lami Umar November 3, 2023 - 7:10 pm

Together we can end polio, Nigeria will be polio free

Gina Attoe November 3, 2023 - 7:20 pm

We will end polio…

Bolarin Olabode November 3, 2023 - 7:22 pm

God is the greatest creator of all, in all we have to praise Him because your ability is not deterred by any polio which is what I see and want to love you the more darling.

Gbenga Salami November 3, 2023 - 7:40 pm

Together we can end polio with our combine efforts.
Well done Jibore foundation

Vick November 3, 2023 - 7:42 pm

What a story! More wins

Olubunmi Togun Ojewale November 3, 2023 - 7:43 pm

My sister in-law daughter was a victim too, One of Her leg is shorter than the other now. On account of this polio of a thing. We need to join hands together and fight it

Solomon November 3, 2023 - 7:54 pm

Polio in the past has make many people to turn disable, but matter the situation and challenges one must learn to find one assignment not give excuses about what happen

Take responsibility for you life no matter the situation.

Emem Adeola November 3, 2023 - 7:54 pm

Thanks be to God that it was an experience and you never allowed it to suppressed you. Your courage encourages me and I congratulates you for that. God bless you 🙏🙏🙏

Ruth November 3, 2023 - 7:56 pm

Mummy more wins all things works together for good, I respect ur courage ma 💪 👏

Idowu Oluwatobi Adewale November 3, 2023 - 8:32 pm

Keep glowing ma’am, the great survivor.

Obayemi Ibiyemi November 3, 2023 - 8:42 pm

Glory to God for the grace and strength He gave you to overcome the hurdle presented by poliomyelitis, I hope this will be a great encouragement to others who have been rendered disabled by sickness ( both of the body and soul), sometimes what has kept some people crippled, limited and disabled from rising to great heights is a particular emotional trauma ,a wound they have never been able to overcome.
Thanks for reaching out, let’s all help to eradicate polio, let’s do more to reach out to others, making our world a better place.

Gbola Bello November 3, 2023 - 10:06 pm

Thank God for his grace and mercy on you. From your naration, my opinion is that HE purposely takes you through the ordeal to serve as a training for you to be able to serve HIM by helping the needy ones. When God has a mission for you, HE ensures you are prepared for it and makes it easier for you. Your fulfilment comes from your innermost and no one can quantify how happy you are. Keep marching on, you are conqueror. Shalom.

Abefe AYOBAMI November 3, 2023 - 10:33 pm

Let put an End to polio

Ahmad Tunde Abdulmalik November 3, 2023 - 11:36 pm

Together, we end polio.

OLATUNJI OLARINKOYE November 4, 2023 - 12:31 am

We need to educate ourselves promptly.

Peter Johnson November 4, 2023 - 5:47 am

All Glory to God, Together we will end this polio, Thank you ma’am

Ruth Kashi Farouk November 4, 2023 - 7:37 am

To God be all the glory. You overcame the challenge i hail your courage of sharing this your life experience with the world. Your story is so touching but it gives strength to the weak not to be discouraged.

Together we must kick against polio! We must continue to sensitize the masses, government should put in place every required resources needed to campaign and continuous immunization of every child from 0-5years of age to eradicate polio in our society.

Adeyemi Timothy Oyewole November 4, 2023 - 11:10 am

Polio disease has been a major threat to human health globally and all hands must be on deck to eradicate it outrightly from the community and world at large via various strata of governments.
The eradication of this dreaded disease should start with proper enlightenment campaigns on the the part of the government to the people on some of the primary and secondary causes/prevention of polio in our society.
* Also government via the various, medical Centres should ensure that all infants in our society are administered with quality and standard doses of polio Vaccine before the age of one
* Once polio cases are detected to be prevalent in certain area government should through the designated medical officers engage in prompt or spontaneous response with quality vaccines to the affected area.
If the above could be adhered to and implemented polio disease wiuld be drastically reduced to it lowest ebb or eradicated completely in our society.

Gift Watchful November 4, 2023 - 1:48 pm

Very touching. As a polio survivor I also have my own tale of experience to tell. In primary school then my fellow classmates will collect my walking stick and hide it living me stranded in school. My mum will then come and carry me home or bring another stick. So many other experience. Now as an adult I’ve over grown that and I hardly feel bad about my condition

Christie Oderinde November 4, 2023 - 4:07 pm

I’m glad you were able to deal with the challenges that come with Poliomyelitis

I’m glad you stood strong, and I’m glad you’re still standing strong up until now.

Polio is a major thing of concern, and it should be treated as such

Bakare Oluwapamilerinayo Samuel November 5, 2023 - 9:50 am

What a story!More wins ma’am

Dúdúyẹmí November 5, 2023 - 5:39 pm

You are really really a great warrior. I am super proud of you and inspired by your confidence. The world will be a better place because of this story

CHRISTIANA AMAMA November 12, 2023 - 3:10 am


November 11, 2023
Madam Joy, your story is a very touching one. The experience that a young girl had to face because of a divastating disease But kudos to the courage you have to muster to keep going. And the concern you show to other sufferers calls for empathy from all quarters. I therefore call on government and well meaning Nigerians to step up the game to kick Polio out of our world and give a lease of life to our future generations.

Oyeleye Akeem November 16, 2023 - 11:51 am

The best time to fight this health challenges is now so as to protect the future of our children. Well done 👍 ma

Olatunji Ajiboye December 3, 2023 - 8:35 pm

We should all join hands together to support polio survivor and fight polio.


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