Alicia Stillman shares the heart-wrenching story of how her 19-year-old daughter Emily died from the now vaccine preventable Meningitis B, so other parents don’t have to endure the same kind of trauma.
“The vaccine for Meningitis B was not available in the United States when my daughter contracted the disease in 2013, but it is now,” said Stillman, about Emily who was a sophomore at Kalamazoo College.
“I didn’t have the means to protect my daughter. I didn’t have the knowledge or the vaccine available, but we do now for everybody else to protect their children.”
Stillman joined Adam London, the head of the Kent County Health Department, and others for a press conference Tuesday, May 9, to encourage all young people but especially high school seniors heading off to college and universities to “Vaccinate Before You Graduate.”
Meningitis B is the only type of meningitis not included in the common meningitis vaccine given to adolescents across the United States. London said the Meningococcal disease is caused by B group of the meningitis bacteria.
“This is a deadly disease that most often affects young people between the ages of 16 and 23,” said London, who says they typically see one or two cases during an average year.