A quarter century of milestones
June 28, 2012 BY Elise Glaum
Today, I’m turning 25-years-old. It’s a milestone birthday. Not just because I’ve now been living on this earth for a quarter century, collecting 25 years worth of milestones, but also because I am now the same age my mother was when she gave birth to me.
Some women reach this milestone and have a dramatic quarter-life crisis over being officially a “mid-to-late-twenty-something.” But, instead of focusing on the things I could have done over the past 25 years, or stressing over what the next 25 years will bring (career, marriage, house, children, aging…all currently scary thoughts for me), I am going to rejoice and celebrate the fact that I have had the chance to turn five, five times.
Working at the United Nations Foundation, I know the reality that many children never get to celebrate even their first 5th birthday. This year alone, more than 7 million children will die before they turn 5 years old. That number is equivalent to the entire population of New York City. The most disturbing part of this for me is that many of these children will die from completely preventable causes – diseases that could have been prevented with life-saving vaccines.
The truth is that 1 in 5 children around the world lack access to life-saving immunizations. For these children, access to vaccines can mean the difference between life and death, a healthy life full of birthday parties and milestones, or a lifetime of struggle. By expanding access to vaccines, we can prevent 1.5 million child deaths each year. That’s 1.5 million more birthday cakes.
So, what can you do? As I’m writing this, Shot@Life supporters are taking action – sending letters to Congress telling them to support polio eradication efforts because until completely eradicated, polio remains a threat to children everywhere. Together, Shot@Life supporters have sent over 1,200 letters to Congress in just 24-hours through this advocacy alert. But, we can do better than that!
So today I’m asking you to celebrate my birthday with me by helping children around the world reach their 5th birthday. Take action and help Shot@Life get to 2,000 emails to Congress before the day is over. We can do this!
POSTED IN: Global Health
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