Voices, Perspectives, and Experiences with Disease

Polio King and Queen (Adele Evidon) with Hal Bergdahl.
Courtesy of Adele Evidon.

Surviving Polio

Adele Evidon as a flower girl.
Flower girl Adele Evidon in her physical therapist’s wedding.
Courtesy of Adele Evidon.
Interview with Lynne Beck about her experience with polio when she was 5 years old and the culture of fear in the 1950s. Conducted on April 8, 2020.
Interview with Adele Evidon about her experiences accute polio as a toddler, rehabilitation, raising money for the March of Dimes, and post-polio syndrome. Conducted on April 8, 2020.
Interview with Dr. Jim Kurle, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, University of MN, about his experience with polio when he was 7 years old and the impact on his life. Conducted on April 8, 2020.
Dr. Clare Bratten, Professor Emeritus of Media Arts at MTSU, shares her experience having polio as a first grader in 1954.
As a one year-old, Laura Calfee contracted polio in 1953-54. She received the smallest brace and crutches ever made at the Houston Medical Center.

Tom Buttweiler offers a detailed account of his experience having polio and then recovering in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Tom’s Story

Adele Evidon, Lynne Beck, and Jim Kurle share their perspectives on the current state and perceptions of polio today. Interview conducted on April 8, 2020.

Stories of Other (Now Vaccine-preventable) Contagious Diseases

Living in rural Minnesota added challenges to getting sent home from school. Rodney Foss talks about having mumps as a 9 year-old in 1944.
In 1963, Marian Summers was diagnosed with German Measles while she was in her second trimester. She discusses her experience with the disease and finding out that her son was profoundly deaf from it. Text of the interview here.

If you would like to share a story about your own experience with contagious disease, please leave a comment here or contact Katie Foss.

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