A Gift for Baby Shawn
Oct 14, 2010

By Frankie Milley
A member of my family, after five miscarriages and at the age of 36, is finally about to give birth to a healthy baby boy. 
As we prepare for the coming of the first baby in our family in ten years, and prepare the elaborate baby shower for the mom-to-be, I find myself a little melancholy.  This joyous event brings back memories of my own precious baby who would eventually die to a vaccine preventable form of meningitis. My baby, my only child, my son would have been 31 this month. My tears are mixed with joy and heartbreak. 
We have all read the news about how many infants have died as a result of pertussis recently; which is why our family has decided that the best gift we could all give this precious little one was to make sure we are all vaccinated. So each member of our extended family – from the youngest to the oldest – has made sure we are up to date on our Tdap vaccine to protect against deadly pertussis. 
As we eat all that good Texas food, delight ourselves on a selection of homemade cakes and celebrate the arrival of the most precious gift life has to offer, I will make sure everyone who attends the shower will be educated on the need to prevent pertussis from infancy through adulthood.   
Now not only will this new baby in our family have everything he needs for his comfort – and of course all the adorable clothes to look most handsome – he will have the beginning of good health and protection from deadly disease. 
Frankie Milley is the Founder/National Executive Director of Meningitis Angels and mother to an only child, Ryan who died with meningitis. 

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