Mom of Child with Cancer Takes to Twitter, Begs Parents to Vaccinate Their Kids

Image of tweet by Nicole O'DonnellSteamLaundry via Twitter

By now, you’ve probably read the many contradicting opinions on vaccinations. While there are many studies that show getting immunizations can help prevent diseases, there are many people that still don’t believe this.

In fact, these people believe vaccines can be harmful and even cause certain conditions, even though there are no studies that prove this.

In order to help steer anti-vaxx people to get vaccinated, one woman named Nicole Stellon O’Donnell posted a message on Twitter about her 8-year-old daughter with cancer, to help put into perspective how harmful not getting vaccinated can be.

She explained that her daughter came with her to the grocery store while she was on chemo and was exposed to the measles. Because of her daughter’s cancer and weakened immune system, this was very dangerous for her and caused a slew of awful occurrences.

In her post, that has since gone viral, Nicole lists out all of the things that “a causal measles exposure in a grocery store” did for her daughter.

“My daughter was quarantined for one month. It’s enough to be bald and chemo stricken at 8, but add being unable to leave the house,” she wrote, adding that her daughter had to wear a mask in public. “This may not seem like a big deal, but imagine being eight, bald, skeletal, without eyebrows and eyelashes *and* having to wear a face mask in public,” she said.

Thankfully, this had happened during the summer, so her daughter wasn’t in school, at the time, but if she was, she’d have to miss more school (on top of the three months she already missed for chemo treatments).

She also explained that it wasn’t just her daughter who was affected by the exposure—tons of kids in the hospital were affected due to having to halt treatments. In fact, the entire department was unable to serve other outpatient children with cancer at that time.

“When we arrived at ped/onc they had to cancel appointments and shut down the infusion room while they sorted out the details of her exposure,” O’Donnell said. “The treatment of all the other patients (children with cancer) that afternoon was disrupted.”

On top of that, there was the risk that other children had to suffer and get shots to boost their white blood cell counts, which has painful side effects (this didn’t happen though, thank goodness).

“Our oncology team spent much time working with state epidemiologists to decide what to do,” she recalls. “Both for our child and all the other children in the clinic that day.”

If nothing else, O’Donnell just wanted people to understand that the decision not to vaccination can affect not only the person who isn’t vaccinated, but everyone around them as well. The takeaway? Vaccinate.

“Please vaccinate your kids. Please get your #flushot,” she says. “It’s an act of compassion for the many children who need herd immunity because their immune systems are not working. #VaccinesWork.”

What’s your current stance on getting vaccinations vs. not getting vaccinated?