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This Mother’s Viral Thread Explains Effects Of Anti-Vaxxers On Cancer Kids

It’s 2018 and there are still parents who refuse, for one reason or another, to vaccinate their children. But those parents are only thinking of their own children, and really not taking into consideration the necessary role herd immunity plays in the health of kids who simply can’t get vaccinated.

Recently, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell, an author and the mother of a little girl with cancer, wrote a thread on Twitter that went viral, in which she explains just how dangerous unvaccinated kids were to her own daughter when she was undergoing chemotherapy.

Her 8-year-old daughter was exposed to measles at the grocery store and had to be quarantined for an entire month.

Her daughter’s exposure meant that, at the hospital, the infusion room had to be shut down, disrupting the treatment of the other children with cancer who were there for chemotherapy.


Her daughter was forced to wear a mask on the flight home, which isn’t ideal for any 8-year-old girl who doesn’t want to be stared at (plus, keep in mind that the girl had already lost all her hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows).

There was also a chance that her daughter’s exposure could mean other kids receiving treatment would have to get painful shots to boost white blood cell counts, but that, at least, didn’t happen.

Fortunately, the exposure happened during the summer, meaning the little girl didn’t have to miss school.

O’Donnell sums it up by urging parents to vaccinate their kids because it’s an “act of compassion for the many children who need herd immunity because their immune systems are not working.”

Some people jumped in to thank O’Donnell for her thread, and to share their own stories.

And other people reiterated the importance of her statement.

Seriously, parents, please get your kids vaccinated.


Written by Dean

Dean Altman is a writer living in NYC.