Not So Rare After All

21 Oct

While I was in Washington, DC, last week for business, I stopped at Capitol Hill to talk to some of the health aides for several senators and representatives.  I was not asking for money; I was not asking for legislation.  I just was asking for their support to help Give Kids A Shot, to make sure that every child for which a meningitis vaccine is available, has the opportunity to get it.   

As a parent who lost a child to a potentially vaccine-preventable disease, bacterial meningitis, I can’t even put into words the devastation it has cost my immediate family, extended family, and friends.  We will soon be at the threshold of a time when vaccines for meningococcal meningitis to protect infants will be available.   Thank goodness that meningitis is a rare disease, but even one life that can be saved, needs to be saved. 

It was very interesting that of the 7 health aides I spoke with, three of them had personal experiences with meningitis – losing a relative or friend.  It makes me think that this disease is not so rare as many would like to think, and that the impact of this disease is so overwhelming, that you can see it in the eyes of the people talking about it.  It doesn’t matter if the person they knew died 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years ago.  There is a haunted look on their faces, as they remember how quickly meningitis swooped in and left death in its wake.   We need to continue to do all we can to protect our children and provide them every vaccine available.

One Response to “Not So Rare After All”

  1. Ashley October 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Lynn, thank you so much for your work on this. We need more parents who vaccinate to speak up, to take over the conversation. Thanks for all you do.

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