Category Archives: Meningitis

  • Losing a Child: Unless You Lived It, You Don’t Know What It’s Like

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    Every year on the anniversary of Kimberly’s death, her mother, Patti, bakes Italian rainbow cookies and places them on the tiny beach she’s created on Kimberly’s gravesite. What must it be like to sit beside your child’s tombstone? What must it feel like to leave her favorite uneaten cookies behind you as you walk away […]

  • The Vaccine Trial

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    When I was pregnant I received a letter from the Oxford Vaccine Group asking me to enroll my unborn child in a meningococcal vaccine trial once she was born. I’ve always been in favor of vaccines; I am a scientist by training so it makes sense to me to follow the current scientific consensus. So […]

  • Honoring One Life to Save Others

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    Kimberly Coffey was 17 years old and days away from high school graduation when she caught what she thought was a case of flu. Days later, her family was saying good-bye. Many families would keep this story to themselves, but Kimberly’s mother, Patti Wukovits, knew that she could do something to stop bacterial meningitis from […]

  • Why I Keep Posting

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    Or: Confessions of a Broken Record I post about two things on social media – science fiction and vaccines. The first, because I love it.  I am a hardcore Trekkie/Star Wars/Firefly/Isaac Asimov-loving type of girl.  The second, because I am a nurse and I practice evidence-based medicine. I never realized that opposition to vaccination was […]

  • Vaccines and Autism: One Doctor’s Personal Story

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    There has been a lot of talk since 1998 as to whether vaccines cause autism.  Though I have been loath to enter this conversation, it has become apparent that perhaps I should speak in order to provide a helpful, even fresh perspective.  Here is our family’s story. In 1987, my youngest sister was born, the […]

  • Graduating? You Are Responsible for Your Immunizations!

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    As you graduate high school or start work or college, getting protected against vaccine-preventable diseases probably isn’t very high on your to-do list. Once you realize that these diseases, like measles, flu, and meningococcal meningitis, etc., might in the best case scenario just keep you out of school for a few weeks, but can also […]

  • Tikkun Olam: Emily’s Story

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    My journey began one Thursday night at about 10:00 p.m.  Until  I lived in somewhat of a bubble.  I felt invincible.  I felt blessed with the life I was living, and took every opportunity to practice what we call “tikkun olam,” which is a Hebrew phrase meaning “to repair the world.” That evening, January 31st, […]

  • A Teen Speaks Up for Vaccines

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    Spreading the word about the benefits of vaccinating children is a personal crusade for my family and me. My mother lost her younger brother to meningitis in 1980, when no life-saving vaccine was available for the disease. I never got to meet my uncle, and my mother’s family suffered unbearably from his death. But, fortunately, […]

  • Surviving Meningitis: Rayna’s Story

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    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 […]

  • Remembering Evan

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    I have always been a mom who vaccinated her children. To me, it’s only natural: if you have children, you want to protect them. And vaccines save lives. Unfortunately, my son died of a vaccine-preventable disease because I didn’t know that there was  a vaccine for meningococcal meningitis, when my son was a college junior, […]