Personal Testimonies

Allison Jester

  • Hepatitis A

High school student Allison Jester describes how a hepatitis A infection disrupted her senior year.

Christine Baze

  • HPV (human papillomavirus)

Christine Baze, a Boston musician and cervical cancer survivor, shares her personal story to educate women about human papillomavirus (HPV) and the importance of vaccination.


  • Tetanus (lockjaw)

In my quick exam of Eduardo, I hadn’t seen a scratch. I suspected tetanus, but there’s no definitive diagnostic test for the disease because the toxin hides away in the central nervous system.

Hsu Family

  • Hepatitis B

In the space of three years, college junior Leslie D. Hsu lost her brother and mother to hepatitis B-related liver cancer.

Jamie Schanbaum

  • Meningococcal

Jamie Schanbaum lost her legs below the knee and her hands after a seven-month fight with bacterial meningitis.

John Fuller

  • Meningococcal

Cadet John Fuller at the Virginia Military Institute describes how, within two days, he went from feeling fine to being in the intensive care unit, fighting meningococcal disease.

Joseph Kepferle

  • Meningococcal

Joseph Kepferle’s father describes the pain of having a healthy college-aged son become ill and die within 24 hours of meningococcal meningitis.

Martin McGowan

  • Influenza (flu)

Diane and Mike McGowan’s healthy 15-year-old son, Martin, died from influenza-related complications in 2005. “One flu shot could have saved his life,” said Diane. “As his mother, I wish that he had been vaccinated.”

Ryan Hokensmith

  • Meningococcal

Ryan Hockensmith, a senior at Penn State majoring in journalism, writes about his three-week battle with meningococcal meningitis.

Ryan Milley

  • Meningococcal

My name is Frankie Milley. This is my story of the needless death of my only child, Ryan, to a vaccine-preventable form of bacterial meningitis.

The Sunday Times

  • Measles

Schoolboy, 13, dies as measles makes a comeback.

View All Personal Testimonies

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