Parents Who Vax

  • One Thousand Voices

    More than two years ago, when Ashley Shelby and I were pondering whether or not to take the helm of Voices for Vaccines, we were adamant that the organization must be parent-led. We were also acutely aware that the loudest parent voices heard in any immunization conversation–in the media, online, in community meetings–was the voice […]

  • Why Do You Vaccinate? (Giving Tuesday)

    By some measures, 2014 has been a great year to be a disease. Measles found its way into too many communities, making more people ill in the United States than it had since 1996. Pertussis has been declared an epidemic in some states. And more and more parents are opting to sign an exemption form rather […]

  • Freedom, Responsibility, Education, and Vaccines

    Speaking up for vaccines is important. I didn’t know that it was until I had kids. Even in the beginning, I was the opposite of vocal on parenting choices, mostly because as soon as I was a mother, I became painfully aware of the constant judgment we face. Beginning before the baby even arrives we get […]

  • What HPV Can Do

    It was November 2008 when I got the astounding news that I had abnormal cervical cells. It was meant to be a routine GP appointment. I’d only ever had two sexual partners. I’d just started my teaching career. I was only twenty-two. Maybe that part is what was actually my undoing. You see, the Gardasil […]

  • To Those Opposed to Vaccinations

    When I was five, I got whooping cough (pertussis). It was horrible. Aside from nearly dying, I couldn’t stop coughing. I have a vivid memory of whooping so hard I jumped out of bed and starting running around the house, my poor mother chasing after me. I caught the measles when I was six. Despite […]

  • The Book That Had to be Written

    Like many people, I came to writing after a love affair with reading. The last book count in my house was over ten thousand. We have twenty-five “official” bookcases and a dozen more piles scattered everywhere else. And like many of my fellow writers, I don’t write so much as rewrite. I have changed the […]

  • Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

    Vaccine-preventable diseases are making a comeback in the US, and community immunity may be at risk. Less than 20 years ago, measles was declared eliminated in the US, as the disease was no longer native and all reported cases were imported from other countries. Now, there are record-breaking outbreaks of measles, mumps, and pertussis (whooping […]

  • Surviving Meningitis: Rayna’s Story

    They always say that your freshman year is the year that you find and discover yourself. For Easter break that year, I decided that I would go home for the first time that weekend. My basketball teammate, Fran, came home with me. We took the Greyhound bus from Blacksburg to Northern Virginia where my parents […]