At three years old, Bowser Branson was a happy and funny child who was up-to-date on all of his immunizations. Sadly, none of those shots could protect him from cancer. Bowser was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a cancer that effects the blood cells, and doctors ordered aggressive chemotherapy to battle the disease.
At the time, Bowser was up-to-date on all of his immunizations, but he hadn’t yet had his second dose of the MMR vaccine, and due to the chemo, he was unable to.
For the three years that Bowser underwent chemo, he was hospitalized more than fifty times for various infections when he had no white cells to fight them off.
Knowing how important and life-saving herd immunity is, Bowser’s mother was adamant that all of their close friends and family they came in contact with were vaccinated and immunized against Tdap and the Flu.
By age four, Bowser knew when he needed to wear a mask and when it was safe to breath the air, and not to ever drink after anyone – including Mommy!
It was a challenging time for the Branson family, but they took every precaution they could to protect Bowser, and now he has been cancer-free for one year and will be cleared for immunizations soon.
When you vaccinate yourself and your children, you’re not only protecting yourself and them, but you’re also helping to protect other children, like Bowser.
Hoosiers Vaccinate is a grassroots network of parents, friends, and community members in Indiana dedicated to advocating for immunizations and supporting science-based vaccine policy for the safety of our state’s residents.
We think it’s important for parents to share their stories with neighbors, school and childcare leaders, and legislators.
Some of us are vaccine-preventable disease survivors, parents of immunocompromised children, parents who have lost children to vaccine preventable diseases, or simply outspoken advocates combating misinformation about vaccines.
We speak up to explain why community immunity is vital to the health of all Indiana residents.
Hoosiers Vaccinate works to maintain and strengthen public health policy to keep our children and our community healthy and protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. State vaccine policies have a clear impact on vaccination rates, which in turn impact the likelihood of a disease outbreak.
By speaking clearly about our desire for strong pro-health vaccine policy, we can ensure that Indiana’s legislature supports science-based immunization policies and legislation.