August is National Immunization Month in America and I am once again drawn back to a time when my fellow elementary classmates were lined up in the school gym or cafeteria and given our shots or our sugar cube with the polio vaccine. I think back before there were ACIP recommendations and/or mandates for middle school entry for adolescents for Varicella, Tdap, meningitis, HPV and other life saving vaccines. Mostly, I am drawn back to a time when my only child Ryan died from meningococcal meningitis long before these recommendations. Thus began my life long advocacy work to make sure all are protected from as many deadly debilitating disease necessary. We have made great strides in protecting our children form deadly vaccine preventable disease. The dedicated men and women of ACIP have worked hard to protect our kids. As organizations like Meningitis Angels, Every Child by Two, PKIDS, the Immunization Action Coalition, public heath departments and others partner together to insure all are educated on and protected from deadly diseases we find our work must not only continue but strengthen. We are at a great point in history. We are on the cusp of new vaccines to prevent meningococcal disease in infants. We must once again all stand together and make sure at the end of the day the vaccines are made accessible to the smallest and weakest of ours. We must stop this deadly disease that takes infant lives or leaves them debilitated. We must work for stronger education, recommendations , accessibility and research and development of new and better vaccines to stop disease not only in America but around the world. As parents shop for those back to school clothes to make their children look good, those school supplies to help them learn, I pray they will make the most important preparation, the one that will protect them form deadly diseases and make sure they are vaccinated. I also want to take a moment in this post to thank and congratulate Ms. Rosalyn Carter, Ms. Betty Bumpers and all of those at Every Child By Two for being leaders in this fight to save lives for over 20 years. You, Ms. Rosalyn and Ms. Bumpers are heroes. You wear big shoes for us to fill over the next 20 years. Frankie Milley Meningitis Angels, founder/national executive director Mom to Ryan, who died at age 18 from meningococcal disease.