This past Friday was an interesting day to say the least. It started off with an interviewer, a videographer, and photographer sitting in my living room. Not my normal segway into the weekend! After getting miked up, and doing a final hair check before cameras were rolling, we got started. Rachel Cunningham, primary author of “Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story” and I sat and discussed what had brought us together in the first place, my daughter’s hospitalization for rotavirus. We discussed exactly what happened during her hospital stay, what it felt like to have a sick child, and the emotional, physical, and financial responsibilities that go along with all of the above. Then came the part that I had kind of been dreading, time to say it all into the camera! Suddenly all the words that I had prepared began to escape my brain. Let me say, I now have a whole new respect for on-camera television personalities. It’s not as easy as it looks people, but I got through it and lived to tell you all about it! My children on the other hand love the camera (they really don’t have a choice considering how many pictures I take of them) so they were more than thrilled to put on a show.
As the interview portion of our morning was wrapping up, Rachel asked me a question, and my answer is the driving force behind my reasons for writing this blog. She asked me “What do you want parents to take away from your experience?” My response: I want parents to understand this can happen to you. This can happen to your child. Vaccine-preventable diseases are not some ficticious ailments of the past. They are serious, even deadly at times.
“Just as important, I want to make it clear that we as parents are the first line of defense. You are your child’s greatest advocate.”
Learn a lesson from my family’s story. Know what and when vaccinations are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and make sure your child is up-to-date on all of them.
This was truly an amazing experience for my family. My husband and I are both passionate about sharing the important message that vaccines save lives and this was just one more avenue that allowed our voices to be heard. Do I wish my children had been vaccinated against rotavirus, of course, but our hope is that our story will open someone’s eyes to the real life consequences that accompany being unprotected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccinate yourself and your children. It could save a life.