Remembering Ryan
Nov 25, 2009

 By Frankie Milley, Meningitis Angels
As we end the year and the new year approaches, I find myself walking through a memorial garden planted in memory of Ryan, my only child who died from a vaccine-preventable form of meningococcal meningitis.
This cool fall day brings new blooms on a white mum given to me by Ryan on the last Mother’s Day he was with me. Yes, eleven years have passed and somehow it still finds its way to the light above the earth in which it is planted.
The blooming is comparable to the long, hard fight to educate and raise awareness for the prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases. The little flowers are like facts coming to the surface and finding the light of day through the cover of misinformation.
After the walk, I returned to my office to check e-mail and find yet more lives taken by the same disease that took Ryan. My heart screams. Once again, we reach out to help a family cope and educate those who surround them with the information on prevention.  
Very shortly we will celebrate Thanksgiving. This year I am giving thanks for those unsung heroes, the parents who choose to vaccinate their children. These parents are choosing life over illness caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, which can be accompanied by death and/or debilitation.
I will celebrate the individuals and organizations like those listed here who dedicate themselves with great passion and love of children to protect them through truth and facts about disease and prevention.
Once again I will give thanks for the little mums blooming in Ryan’s garden reminding me that like them we must stay the course and find our way to the light and the eradication of deadly disease.
Lastly but not least I will remember my beautiful child, my son, my life who needlessly died from a vaccine-preventable disease.
My New Years wish/prayer will be that no infant, child, teen or adult will suffer or die needlessly.
Vaccines save lives.

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