The Battle We’ve Almost Won: Eradicating Polio

Today is World Polio Day where people across the globe come together to advocate on the eradication of polio and speak of the successes we’ve made and plan for the future. We have never been so close to eradicating a disease before and have only eradicating two diseases in the history of mankind. We are at a pivotal moment in time and we are within reach of wiping this terrible, debilitating disease off the face of this planet.

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Per the World Health Organization’s article 10 Facts about Polio Eradication”  here is where we stand today in our fight against polio:

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Happy First Birthday Shot@Life!

This week is Global Immunization Week a time set aside to celebrate and advocate the importance of providing global vaccines to save lives of children around the world. I have been an active member and advocate for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign for the last year and a half and have been continually inspired by how easy and simple it is to save lives.

Every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine-preventable death. Yet we can change this tragic reality. We know that 1 in 5 children in the developing world do not have access to life-saving vaccines. Yet we have the tools and resources to prevent 1.5 million deaths each year – the equivalent to the number of children entering kindergarten in the US each year –  by providing vaccines. For the mere cost of a week’s worth of coffee – $20 – you can give a child a lifetime of immunity from a deadly disease and save a life. It is easy. Simple. And it saves lives.

Your voice, your time and your support can change a child’s life forever. 

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Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/UN Foundation

As a Shot@Life Champion I’ve had the opportunity to use my voice by learning all about the importance of global vaccines and sharing this information as an advocate through social media, my blog and directly with my members of Congress. I’ve visited Washington DC three times to learn more about global vaccines and advocacy. I’ve also lobbied with my members of Congress both here in Minnesota as well as on Capital Hill. Finally, I’ve held two local fundraising events at my home in which together with my friends we have raised over $2,800 which has helped vaccinate 140 children for life. It has been a year to remember and I feel proud that I’ve been able to make a difference in the world.

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First Shot@Life party during Global Immunization Week. April 2012.


My children and me wearing our Shot@Life t-shirts during Global Immunization Week.

Some people ask why do I care? Why do I spend so much of my time devoted to other children half way around the world, children I will never meet?

Simple. I am a mother too and I want to help give every mother the same opportunity to having a healthy child and an opportunity to reach those precious milestones in a child’s life that stay forever in your heart.

Like my daughter’s last day at preschool.  

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I want to give every child the Shot@Life they deserve. 

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Women getting her child immunized in Mozambique. Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/UN Foundation.

Please help spread the word about Shot@Life and the importance of global immunizations. Here are some ways you can help out:

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Advocating for global health on Capital Hill


2013 Shot@Life Champions after a day of advocating on Capital Hill.

The last four days have been absolutely amazing. I was one of 100 men and women who went to our nation’s capital to learn about and advocate for global vaccines as part of the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign. It was my second time participating in the Shot@Life Summit and was such an honor to represent the people across the United States who believe strongly in the importance of providing global vaccines for children around the world.

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We are the world. We are the children.

Why I support Shot@Life…..the children. 

By supporting and fundraising for Shot@Life, with the help of my friends we have raised over $1500 and counting which will be enough funds to vaccinate 72 children in developing countries for life. 

I am not finished.  There is still much work to be done and more money to be raised. 

I won’t give up.  

I have miles to walk before I sleep.

The number of children dying around the world due to lack of life-saving vaccines is equivalent to the half of the children in the United States entering Kindergarten this fall.

We are going to change this fact.

Here is a priceless video of Sophia’s practicing her song for yesterday’s preschool concert.  Click on link below to view.

We are the world.  We are the children.

We are the world.  We are the children.

We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s keep giving.

There’s a choice we’re making.  We’re saving our own lives.

It’s true, we’ll make a brighter day just you and me.

Stay tuned….this wraps up my series for the UN Global Immunization Week and the launch of Shot@Life.  I will still be working hard to advocate and raise money and awareness for this amazing program.  It has been quite an experience.  I’m heading back to my regular posts ASAP.  Thanks for your continued support and comments!  Nicole

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A glance behind the life of a Shot@Life Champion: 1 month countdown till launch

Photo above from Shot@Life Campaign literature. I adore this photo of the beautiful children who look so happy despite their poverty.  They are still just kids.

So what does it take to be a Shot@Life Champion?  What exactly is a Shot@Life Champion?  Why do I care?  Why should you care?

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India’s quest to become polio free has arrived

As many of you know, In January I attended the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Summit along with 45 other fellow Americans, who will be working hard to raise awareness and funding to provide vaccines to impoverished nations around the world. 

Since January, I have been steadily following all news vaccine-related and have been blown away by India’s quest to become a polio free nation.  In one of the most populous nations in the world that has many places that are extremely difficult to reach, the massive effort to vaccinate India’s children and wipe the deadly polio virus away, has been a hair-raising feat.

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Every child deserves a shot at life

Did you know that every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine preventable death?

Photo credited to UN Foundation.

That is about the time it takes to read the first paragraph of this post.   A life has gone that could have been saved by a mere $20.   The cost of buying two tickets to a movie, a bottle of wine or a birthday present for a child.  That is it.  But to many people around the world, that is everything.  

Over the last two days I had the honor of attending the UN Foundation’s Summit as a Shot@Life Champion who in the coming months will be one of 45 citizens across the nation championing this great cause in saving lives around the world.    Through raising awareness and funds for four life-saving vaccines, it is our hope that we can galvanize the nation so that no child around the world will not have a Shot@Life.  A shot to reach these important milestones that many of us Americans take for granted.

So why does it matter?  I can tell you exactly why.  

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