Category Real Stories, Real People

Did Not Having a Flu Shot Land Me in the Hospital?

For weeks I had been watching the news and reading heartbreaking stories about the dangers of flu this season. It never really crossed my mind that this could happen to me or that I could suffer bad complications from the flu. I always figured I was blessed with a great immune system and this was never a concern for me. Well, maybe I should have been a little more prepared…

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Brittany’s Story: A Young Life Lost to Influenza

Seven months ago, I lost my beautiful daughter, Brittany Danielle Andersen, at the age of 20.  I’m sharing her story so that parents and young adults will know that the flu doesn’t just affect young kids and old people.  It can take anyone, at any age…

Prioritizing Adolescent Immunizations

Teens who feel invincible and put up a fight about a potentially painful shot should be no match for medical providers who can stand firm on the importance of vaccination. After all, many adolescents (and their parents) don’t understand what’s at stake if they opt out of a vaccine. Take it from a survivor of a vaccine-preventable disease: vaccines are unspeakably important and must be made a priority.

A Son’s Life Cut Short By Influenza

My son, Jacob Ryan Schmidt of Baytown, TX, was a semi-pro competitive martial arts expert, strong as a bull, and enjoying life as a family man. In April of 2010, at the age of 27, he succumbed to complications from H1N1 influenza. He had not been vaccinated against the illness. Jacob was not someone you’d […]

A Daughter Lost to Meningococcal Disease

My daughter, Adrienne, was a loving, funny, and intelligent 16-year-old who played clarinet in her high school band. Her life was tragically cut short on January 28, 2001 from meningococcal disease, a serious, yet vaccine-preventable infection. Adrienne went with her sister to see a movie and when she got home she complained she wasn’t feeling […]

Helping a Friend Fight Pneumococcal Disease

I have a close friend who is 86 years young, and a dynamic testament on how to grow older gracefully. She has been a foster grandparent to my children since they were infants and feels like a second mother to me. I am very active as an educator and advocate for optimal immunization across the […]

The Real Pain of Shingles

The post below is from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) “Real Stories, Real People” series. Thank you to Joan for sharing her experience with shingles to increase awareness among others. To share your own real story, visit http://nfid.org/real-stories-real-people/share-your-story. I had shingles recently and I just need to say—the pain from shingles was the worst I’ve […]