Soonja Cho; mid-1950s; Seoul, Korea
My story with polio began when I was one year old, and my leg was paralyzed.
At that time, it was the beginning of the Korean War and my family had to flee our home. To escape the advancing North Korean army, we traveled from Seoul to Pusan in the very south of Korea. It took us many months because our family had to walk the entire distance, over 200 miles. We could travel only at night. My older sister carried me. If we could have gone by bus, the trip would have taken about 5 hours.
Upon our return to Seoul a few years later, I finally received acupuncture and herbal remedies to improve my condition.
This is a photo of my father and me with a rolled up newspaper in my hand. Each night, he would bring me a chocolate bar, but I am crying because he came home without one for the first time. He had to work late and the man selling them on the black market had already gone home.
I love chocolate. Even the smell settles my stomach.