Photo of Louise Rourke

Louise Beckerle Rourke is a polio survivor from six months of age. With her right leg paralyzed, she is a lifetime swimmer of Lake George. 

In 2018, she embarked on a quest to swim the 32 mile long lake in a two person relay and raised over $120,000 for Rotary International Global Polio Eradication efforts.

Her book, “Called by the Water: The Swim to End Polio,” chronicles the struggles she faced to overcome the challenges of living with polio. It is an inspiring “call” to all Rotarians not only for ongoing dedication to the goal of eradication of this devastating disease but also a “call” to providing clean water worldwide. We have made progress in reducing global disease, but we are now experiencing the coronavirus pandemic. Her book is a timely “call” for us to continue to use science in addressing this newest challenge as well as the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.

Louise is a retired teacher and school social worker who lives with her husband, John, in Ticonderoga, New York.