Happy Trails To You…

…until we meet again.  It is with a heavy heart that I post this, my last “official” blog with the Immunization Partnership.  It’s been almost 2 years since I began working with TIP and what a journey it has been.  When I first began, I was a mother of two who believed in vaccination.  I felt it was important, but looking back I had no idea the real impact that vaccines have on our world.  Two weeks after beginning work on this blog my daughter was hospitalized for 4 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for what turned out to be rotavirus.  Subsequently, we learned that she had mistakenly not received vaccination against this vaccine-preventable disease.  From that point on it all became very real for me.  Vaccines were not just a recommendation.  They were necessary.

I have had the opportunity to meet with award winning authors, brilliant physicians, and respected politicians who have made a huge impact and dedicated themselves to spreading the message that vaccines save lives.  My heart has broken as I have spoken with parents who undoubtedly have weathered life’s most horrific storm through the loss or injury of a child all due to a vaccine-preventable disease.  I am honored to have worked with these individuals and am truly inspired by their ability to push through their own personal tragedies and use their experiences to save countless families from traveling the same path.  To each of you I say a special “Thank You.”

thank-you-note11I must also express my gratitude to the amazing group of women who work at TIP.  Your selfless work has impacted more lives than you will ever know.  You have prevented illness and saved lives.  Your commitment to protect communities and your mission to “eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases by educating the community, advocating evidence-based public policy and promoting immunization best practices” is commendable to say the least.  No words can describe how grateful I am to have had this opportunity to work with each of you.  You allowed me to use my mind and my passion for writing for an important cause.  Just as significant, I have made friendships that I value and cherish.  “Thank you” simply does not express my appreciation, but for a lack of better words… Thank You.  Each of you.

What began as something I thought was important has become a true life passion not only for me but for my family as well.  Our eyes have been opened to the truth and that truth is that vaccines are vital to the health and well-being of our families, our communities, our nation, and our world.  While my journey to further educate myself and others about the importance of immunizations will not end, my documentation of it does.  With that I would like to welcome TIPs newest mommy-blogger, my personal friend, Courtney Dozier.  You have an amazing story to tell and I cannot wait to watch your journey unfold.

I am happy to say that my husband and I will continue to be involved with this amazing organization and do our part to encourage people to protect themselves and their families.  We look forward to seeing many of you in the near future.  And always remember to prevent what’s preventable.

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