Jonas Salk (1914-1995), “the man who saved the children,” developed a vaccine for polio, a terrifying disease that crippled and killed people.  In the 1950s, when tens of thousands of children were infected each year, Dr. Salk worked in his laboratory sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, searching for a way to stop the epidemic.  Volunteering to be among the first “human guinea pigs,” he injected himself with his experimental vaccine to prove it was safe and effective.  Fueled by remarkable idealism, he refused to patent his vaccine so that it could be distributed freely around the world. 

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” - Jonas Salk


He Will Not Give Up

(By Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin)

Polio sweeps through the cities.

It frightens and cripples and kills.

This virulent virus is sneaking inside us

Completely resistant to pills.

It’s hard to detect this invader

That seems to come out of thin air.

A doctor works late

With a crushing weight

On his shoulders he chooses to bear.


            He will not give up.

            He will not give in.

            He will find the answer

            Through thick and thin.

            Every day and night

            He will fight the fight,

            And he’ll win.

            He will not give up.


There in his lab he is working.

Seldom takes time to relax.

His focus is keen to find a vaccine

To stop this disease in its tracks.

His family suffers his absence.

They know he must finish the race.

But the children roll by and the parents cry,

And he knows he must keep up the pace.




So little time,

The future lies in imagination

So much to do.

And in the courage of those who will dare.”




© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)


Wipkipedia - Jonas Salk