Skip to main content
AdvocacyOctober 14, 2011

I’m One of a Million: Fighting for First Birthday Parties Around the World

Other than through photographs, I am fairly certain my son will not remember his first birthday party – the red and blue birthday balloons, his vanilla cake with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar on it, star-shaped sandwiches, caterpillar party hats, and little goodie bags packed with stickers, candy and baby socks. Who are we kidding? Noah’s first birthday party was more for me – and my memories.

According to the World Health Organization, 5.4 million children died before their first birthday in 2010. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if only these children had access to the lifesaving vaccines that we take for granted in wealthy countries. Because many children living in poverty and in conflict zones miss out on vaccines, mothers in many countries cannot create these first birthday party memories with their children. This is why I joined the Million Moms Challenge – to be part of a movement of Americans standing up for the delivery of life-saving vaccines and other meaningful causes that impact pregnancy, child birth and children’s health. Together, we are helping mothers just like me celebrate those first birthdays and give their children a shot at a healthy life.

The Million Moms Challenge offers a simple but direct way for all of us to do something about these extraordinary challenges that are faced by moms in developing countries, to talk to one another, and to feel empowered to make a difference.

It is a defining time in our role as mothers. We are caregivers, decision-makers, disciplinarians, play date planners, bedtime story-tellers, birthday cake decorators, and makers of star-shaped sandwiches. We are all of this and powerful influencers in meaningful causes. We are engaged in doing good every day at home, in our communities and around the world. We are impactful, not just alone, but together.

Join me and moms across America, together with moms worldwide at MillionMomsChallenge.comto become part of a vibrant, community connected around things mothers care about. Get involved in the conversation about healthy moms and babies around the world; follow @AMillionMoms on Twitter and like Million Moms on Facebook at

Devi R. Thomas