Screw the Flu: Help Protect Ramona
Ramona is my oldest friend in the world – we’ve been friends since birth (seriously!).
The pic above is one of us taken sometime in the 80s.
And here’s a recent one of her with her family.
Ramona is maybe the funniest person I know. She’s also the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful person you’ll ever meet.
Pretty much anyone who meets Ramona remains a lifelong friend, because that’s the kind of person she is.
Ramona needs your help this year.
Ramona was born with cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that, among other things, has made her prone to trouble breathing and recurrent lung infections. Over time, these problems led to worsening function of her lungs, and last fall she got really sick. She couldn’t breathe on her own. It was even hard for her to breathe on life-support. She couldn’t talk to her kids or hug them or kiss them, and I was worried she’d never see them again.
Thankfully, Ramona was the recipient of a life-saving lung transplant. Recovering from what she endured is no joke. She was in the hospital for almost a year.
But in order for Ramona’s body to thrive with someone else’s lungs, she has to take a lot of medications to suppress her body’s natural instinct to recognize the lungs as foreign and attack them. They work by suppressing her immune system. An unfortunate consequence of that is that her body isn’t going to be as great as everyone else’s at fighting infections. She also might not be able to develop immunity after vaccines the way the rest of us would.
The flu is a nuisance. Some of us don’t want the flu shot because it hurts, or because we believe that it makes us feel sick.
If Ramona gets the flu this year, she could die.
The best way to protect Ramona from the flu is to prevent her from being exposed. And the only way that can be done is if the rest of us get vaccinated. For every one person like Ramona, there are a whole bunch more who are also depending on our collective immunity.
Here’s my littlest son Cole.
He’s too young for a flu shot, and his immune system isn’t mature enough to fight the flu.
And this is Nanny, my grandmother. If anyone asks, she’s 75, but (shhh) she’s actually almost 100 and her body is too old to mount great immunity to the flu shot anymore, nor fight the actual infection.
So though getting the flu shot can be a drag, for people like Ramona, Cole, Nanny, and so many more, you’re actually saving their lives.
Save someone’s life this year – Screw the Flu!