Tuesday, 6 May 2008 2:00 PM

Accepting Life as Polio Victim

Being born with polio is no easy journey in life for one brave Solomon Islander.

Benjamin Vae comes from the Weathercoast in Guadalcanal Province, the second youngest in the family born in 1976 with polio.

"Like any other young child, I attended schools together with normal people from grade one to grade nine and it has always been a struggle for me," Mr. Vae told Solomon Times.

Travelling long distances from their family home to town was not only far but physically a hard task for Mr. Vae who's condition leaves him walking on all fours.

He said that the struggle and challenges for him is however made easy with people always encouraging him to "live my life as it is".

"It is now just me and my mum and there are times when it gets really hard such as when I had malaria and pneumonia, my ankles got badly swollen but lucky I have expatriate friends who bought me proper medication," Mr. Vae said.

He told Solomon Times that "acting like a normal person walking around town is very stressful".

Asked on how he manages on daily basis, Mr. Vae said that people along the street, including friends, gives him a few dollars every day.

But despite his condition, it does not stop the determined young man from seeking employment.

Solomon Times learnt that determination can take a person through success.

Mr. Vae has work references as a sales officer in the Hawkin Construction, worked as a receptionist for AusAID's Community Sector Programme and currently doing typing for people who needs computing assistance.

"I have learnt that I have no choice but to accept that I am the way I am, walking on all fours with slippers on my hands instead of my feet," Mr. Vae told Solomon Times.

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