Monday, April 23, 2012

Humbled by a Shot (at Life)

Casey's 18 month birthday was last Friday.  And with it came pride, some bittersweet tears as I entered stats into the baby book, and then the dreaded well check up at the doctor's.

Why the dread?

It's the vaccines.  I always opt for them, but it always makes me nervous.  I can't pinpoint why. Perhaps it's a mistrust of all powers that be or modern medicine or memories of being held down for shots as a child myself.  Perhaps it's my autistic cousin and the big question mark that surrounds the why (and yes, I know there is no proven link).  Perhaps it's just the angst of being a mom and having something injected into my baby.

Casey was set to get the MMR this go round.  You know, the big one.  The one that's controversial and has all the side effects and potential for fevers, rash, etc.  I was stressing about it.

And then came Friday night.

I attended an event hosted by my friend and fellow blogger Monica Sakala, (if you haven't read her blog, Wired Mama, you should check it out) and UN Foundation Specialist Anastacia Dellacio. The event was  to benefit the UN Foundation's Shot@Life campaign, which aims to ensure that all children worldwide have access to vaccines.  It was held at Dolci Gelati headquarters, which Anastasia and her husband own (Yes, she's a do-gooder and owns a gelato company.  I wanted to hate her, but I couldn't.  She's just that awesome.)

First, the fun stuff.  Did I mention there was gelato?

Photos courtesy of Tech Savvy Mama, also in attendance!
And pastries.

And prosecco.  

And awesome women, many of whom have blogs I have read for months now (and yeah, I was a little star struck at the beginning.  Just a little).  

There was indulgence.  And good conversation.  But there was also a cause.  

First there was a presentation, where we learned some pretty horrifying statistics.  Every 20 seconds a child somewhere dies from a vaccine preventable disease.  The number of children dying every year from preventable diseases in developing countries is nearly equivalent to half the children entering kindergarten each year in the U.S.  And this doesn't have to happen - it only costs $20 to vaccinate a child for life.  

The presenter told a story of meeting a woman at a third world vaccination clinic.  The woman had walked 15 miles, with a baby on her back, to get the measles vaccine for her son.  She had done this because she had already lost two children to the measles - the very disease I had huffed and puffed about getting Casey vaccinated for that very day. 

To say I was humbled put it mildly.

But really, they had me at this video:  

No matter what your vaccination stance is, I think we all agree that we are lucky to have a choice. And every mother, everywhere, deserves that choice.

So lets make it happen!

You can donate here and give some child somewhere a shot at life.  


  1. Thanks for posting such a great piece about the campaign! I loved seeing you on Friday night!!


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