It's World Immunization Week! This week, organizations and champions for global immunity are spreading the word about the importance of perseverance in the fight to prevent deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. This week also marks the birthday week of Shot@Life, a United Nations Foundation organization on a mission to end vaccine preventable deaths in developing countries.
Some of us are not old enough to remember when polio, mumps and measles plagued the United States. Vaccines played a primary role in eradicating those diseases here. Developing countries are still trying to play catch up. In this country, we have the luxury of choice when it comes to vaccinating our children. The alternative for us is not death. Mothers in developing countries, unfortunately, do not have this luxury. While efforts are underway to improve clean water and food sources in developing countries, achieving them are a distant hope for most of them. In the meantime, organizations like Shot@Life are working to deliver vaccines to children in developing countries and are saving lives every day, literally giving them a shot at life.
I am a Shot@Life Champion. However, this post is not about me. Today I'm shining the spotlight on a fellow Champion Blogger, Yolanda Gordon, who shares with us about her time as a Shot@Life Champion and why she has a passion for this cause.
Q: How did you hear about Shot@Life?
Last Spring I attended Mom Congress for Parenting Magazine in Washington, D.C .and the wonderful ladies from Shot@Life were there.
Q: Why did you get involved?
I am a parent to two children who suffer from Autism. Many in our community believe that vaccines cause Autism. I am not one of those parents who shares that belief. I would rather have a child with Autism any day than no child at all. I feel that it is socially important that children receive necessary vaccinations as a matter of personal health and public safety. No parent should have to bury a child.
Q: What have you done over the past year to help spread the word about Shot@Life and the importance of expanding access to global vaccines?
Over the past year, I have written about Shot@Life on my blog. Also, two of my closest friends and I planned a successful Shot@Life event. I have also spread awareness to individuals who do not believe in vaccinations in the U.S. and shared why I feel that it is important for children in developing countries to receive vaccines.
Q: What’s your favorite birthday tradition?
My favorite birthday tradition is cooking my children's favorite foods, which is a rare treat because they always high-calorie.
Q: What milestones did you experience with Shot@Life during their first year?
I am proud to have worked with Shot@Life over the past year including representing Shot@Life at the Results International Conference. The most significant milestone I participated in was being selected as a delegate and attending the Champions Summit in Washington, D.C. earlier this year in February.
Q: Anything you wish to add?
It is an honor and a privilege to work with Shot@Life and to rally for moms and children in developing countries. As a parent advocate, I feel that it is my job to ensure that not only my children have a shot at becoming productive members of society, but that children around the world have a shot too. With productive members of any society, the economy is stronger and the country has a work force that can help that country thrive. Every strong society starts with children who grow up to become who they are meant to be as adults. That is the cornerstone of my advocacy.
Yolanda blogs at Lesserknownfeatsofawesomeness.org.
Read my story and find out ways you can help this cause here.