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Mom of 8-year-old with cancer explains why herd immunity is important in pro-vaccine thread

The powerful Twitter thread stresses the importance of herd immunity by explaining in detail the harmful effects of being around an unvaccinated individual had on her daughter.

Mom of 8-year-old with cancer explains why herd immunity is important in pro-vaccine thread
Cover Image Source: Getty Images (representative), Twitter: Nicole Stellon O'Donnell

Despite there being countless studies and research stressing the importance of vaccination, the anti-vaxxer movement appears to gain momentum with every passing day. Meanwhile, there have been many cases where even those who had their children vaccinated, end watching them suffer simply due to being in proximity of an unvaccinated child. The mother of an 8-year-old with cancer recently took to Twitter to add yet another real-life, gutwrenching story to the mix, calling attention to the importance of herd immunity. Nicole Stellon O'Donnell's powerful Twitter thread lays bare in detail the harmful effects unvaccinated children have had on her daughter.


Dear parents of children who do not have cancer: a casual measles exposure in a grocery store caused the following things to happen when my child was in chemotherapy, O'Donnell began. 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. 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. The treatment of all the other patients (children with cancer) that afternoon was disrupted, she revealed.


O'Donnell stated that the exam room at the hospital also had to be shut down and given a "terminal cleaning," which disrupted the pediatric and oncology department's ability to serve other outpatient children with cancer. On the flight home, she had to wear a mask. 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 tweeted. Moreover, there was also a chance that other children at the hospital would be required to take shots of Neulasta to boost their white blood cell counts, which causes painful side effects.


There was a possibility that other children could have been required to have shots of Neulasta to boost their white blood cell counts. The side effects include terrible bone pain. Fortunately, my daughter's WBC count was high enough that no children had to go through that. Our oncology team spent much time working with state epidemiologists to decide what to do. Both for our child and all the other children in the clinic that day. I cried with relief when the told me none of the other children had to take Neulasta, O'Donnell tweeted.


The concerned mother added that she was relieved that this occurred during the summer as her daughter would've had to miss school otherwise. She had missed three months while we lived 350 miles away during the first months of chemo. She would have been crushed to miss more, O'Donnell tweeted. She concluded her thread with a simple but incredibly important message: Please #vaccinate your kids. Please get your #flushot. It's an act of compassion for the many children who need herd immunity because their immune systems are not working.


The powerful Twitter thread soon went viral on social media with other netizens sharing similar heartbreaking stories:














Many applauded O’Donnell for sharing the powerful story while reiterating the importance of vaccination themselves:






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