HOUSTON, April 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Meningitis Angels (MA) will once again celebrate World Meningitis Day (WMD). A day of worldwide meningitis education and recognition of those lives taken or debilitated by meningitis. WMD was started by the Confederation of Meningitis Organizations (COMO).
They ask at Midnight April 24th you light a virtual candle in honor or memory of someone whose life was forever changed or taken by meningitis.
Frankie Milley the founder and national executive director of MA had this to say, "My only child, Ryan died at age 18 from meningococcal meningitis. He went from perfect health to blood coming from every orifice of his body to death in less than 24 hours. He had just graduated high school, working on a pro golf career and preparing for college. He never made it. Instead we buried him. In less than 48 hours after his death we found out there was a vaccine that could have prevented it."
However there were no recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on education or accessibility of the vaccine for Ryan and other teens. That was almost 18 years ago.
Today even though we have vaccines to prevent meningococcal disease. We still are working for complete and full recommendations from ACIP. Kudos to ACIP for their important and strong recommendations for HIB, Pneumococcal and meningococcal disease A, C, W135 and Y but the Men B recommendations are still not enough. Men B accounts for almost all college campus outbreaks across the US in the last two years. It has also caused outbreaks in the gay men community.
Milley said, "I cringe when I hear that meningitis is a college dorm disease. This is so misleading for teen parents and students. Though college dorm living can increase the risk, all teens are at risk. They all share drinks, cigarettes, make up, sleep over in groups, sometimes patronize bars and do all the same things that college dorm residents do. They hang out with those same kids."
Scott Parkhurst of Oregon an Angel Team Leader can testify to that. Parkhurst's son, Jake, died 2 years ago from Men B. He was 17. "Parkhurst took his older son to Canada to get him vaccinated because the vaccine was not yet approved for use. "A parent should not have to go to another country to protect their child from a vaccine preventable disease," said Parkhurst.
Dr. David M. Berman, of Saint Petersburg, FL, a pediatric infectious disease expert and medical advisor to Angels stated, "Meningococcal disease is a life threating sudden onset bacterial infection that can be prevented with safe and effective immunizations. All health care providers need to discuss these with families."
Angels have worked for years to educate all on the diseases, healthy living and vaccines to prevent meningitis. Through their personal stories, innovative brochures, posters and programs they have educated thousands not only in the US but around the world.
Just this past year they produced a beautiful music video called "Angels Wings" written by two Nashville writers, Derrick Hampton and Mary Frances. New and upcoming country music artist Curtis Braly donated his time and artistry to the project. Angels, Leslie Meigs, Carye Wynn, Riley Bax, Jeremiah Mitchel, Johnny D'Antona, Ethan Boone and angel friends Jonathan Dillard and Ryder Bax also performed in this amazing music project.
They produced an important PSA on the need to prevent meningococcal meningitis especially Men B and soon launch their latest national campaign "The A,B,C and Y of Meningitis.
For more information on meningitis, contact Frankie Milley or to hear and see our video and PSA visit www.Meningitis–Angels.org.
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SOURCE Meningitis Angels