For at least 20 of the athletes who competed in the Games in London this year, it is polio which has left them paralysed - a vicious, highly infectious disease that attacks the nervous system and can cause paralysis, if not death. It is children under five who are most vulnerable to infection. But it was possible to watch London 2012's Paralympics Games with a great sense of optimism. These Games were historic, not only for the number of competing athletes and sell-out crowds, but also because they may well have been the last Olympics to take place in a world where a child is at risk of paralysis because of polio.
Opening our stage for the day was the stunning presence of Jazz Morley and her piano.
The London 2012 Paralympics will be a fantastic celebration, not just of sport, but of disabled people themselves. This should be a transformational moment for disabled people in this country but the hard work will need to continue long after the event... Our vision is that disabled people are active for life. To achieve this, one of our goals will be supporting more disabled people in different ways to realise the benefits of being active. This support should be available at whatever level they choose as only a small minority can take part in or reach Paralympic level.