Dear Angels and Angel Parents, I am Frankie Milley the founder of Meningitis Angels and the mother of Heaven Bound Angel Ryan Milley.
Ryan was our only
child. He was 18 years old, just graduated high school, pursuing a pro-golf
career and getting ready for college. He became ill on Father's Day June 21,
1998. His only complaint was an earache and he had a fever. In less than 14
hours he developed hemorrhaging under the skin (the rash) and he lay on an
emergency room table with blood coming from every orifice of his body. He
never had a stiff neck or headache. I could only tell him don't be afraid
Bear, I love you. His dad repeated over and over "Daddy loves you baby
boy." Ryan coded, his heart stopped and a few seconds later his heart
started long enough for Ryan to smile and mouth the words "I know."
Ryan died with Meningococcal Meningitis/Meningococcemia, group C. Within 48
hours of his death I heard about MENOMUNE, a vaccine that could have saved Ryan's life. For years our military have been vaccinated against this disease. Yet our children have been left to be mutilated or killed by this disease.
First I grieved. This disease had taken away the love of our life and my identity. Our right to be parents at a wedding, the right to hold a grand
child and be called grandma and Pa Pa. The right of a child's comfort in our old age or support when one of us has to leave the other. Then I became angry not at God, He had allowed our baby to die with dignity, whole and complete, but at a disease that could have been prevented by a harmless vaccine, that no one had ever told me about. "Our precious boy did not have to die." Then I got busy. I began to work with other parents around the country. We met with the Aventis Team, the makers of MENOMUNE. We educated ourselves on the disease and the vaccine. I visited with parents and angels in the hospital and their homes to offer support, information, and resources for help on this disease and vaccines for it. I became part of a national support team for the Meningitis America Foundation. I joined with other Angel parents.
Each of us, started procedures in our own states for more education and protection of our children and young adults. The Gardeners, of Maryland, who lost their son Jesse were the first.
I assisted in a meningitis outbreak in our community, and the Houston area.
In less than a week with the help of my husband and a few good friends, I collected over 5,000 signatures, , to expand Senate Bill 31on education. I also created the expansion to this same Bill, authored by Senator Zaffirini, in Texas, to extend this education bill educating college students to include all school children and their parents. It was signed into law May 22, 2001. Joining with angels and angel parents, friends and family across Texas we are working hard to educate all on this disease.
Texas became the first state to have such a law. This was not enough.
My heart still hurts for all
the children and young adults who have fallen
victim and who would still fall victim to this deadly disease. So in February 2001 a dream came true and Meningitis Angels Heaven and Earth Bound, INC. was founded.
With the help of other Angel Parents, Wendy and Jodie Meigs, parents of Earth Bound Angel Leslie, Linda and Terry Ott, parents of Heaven Bound Angel Mason, Michele and Chris Senyk, parents of Heaven Bound Angel, Alexa, friends, and family, Meningitis Angels is no longer a dream but a reality. It is the first of its kind. It is our prayer to give hope to children and adults, who feel they have none, because of the devastation of this disease.
Someone once wrote
"It is when we forget ourselves that
we are able to do things that are remembered."
God has allowed me to take a painful, forever broken heart and a loss that no one should have to bear and turn it in to a life filled with compassion, love, hope and service for your angels. We are a young foundation with even more dreams and hopes for the future. We are blessed with a board of directors and support team that volunteer their time, money and talents.
A mother who lost her child wrote,
"Bright is the light that lights the path no longer traveled."
Our Heaven Bound Angels, light a path they no longer travel, a path for our Earth Bound Angels to find their way and protect others from this deadly disease.
Help me to make Meningitis Angels an organization
that makes dreams come true
and places a rainbow where there has been a storm.
You can make a difference.
God Bless You,
Frankie Milley, founder and president of Meningitis Angels,
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