Being a mom to Molly and Frankie is the most challenging role I've taken on. Two years ago, my youngest daughter, Molly, contracted whooping cough. As any parent can relate, it's scary when your kids get sick, especially when the doctor isn't sure what's wrong. Just after we found out that she had whooping cough, I learned that Molly was part of the largest outbreak in decades.
She's now 2 years old and has fully recovered, but I was completely rattled by the experience and became determined to do anything I could to save other children from a similar fate.
That is why I became a global advocate for the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life campaign, to help children in developing countries get access to life-saving vaccines, which give them protection from four of the most deadly and disabling childhood diseases: measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio. The thing that moves me the most about this issue is that we have the solution. We have vaccines -- we just have to get them to the children.
Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease. Yet, I'm convinced that if moms in the U.S. banded together, if we told all of our friends and brought this issue to our representatives in Congress, we could be on the right side of history. By voicing our support, we can make sure that existing U.S. government support for global vaccines will continue to save the lives of millions of children around the world.
Right now, world leaders are listening. Just last month, the World Health Organization declared polio a global emergency because until it's completely wiped out, polio is a threat to children everywhere. Now, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill that recognizes the progress made in polio eradication, and encourages the U.S. government to support continued efforts. Let's make sure the U.S. government remains committed to polio eradication and global vaccines.
Join me in voicing your support to Congress about the importance of eradicating polio and providing vaccines to children in developing countries to build a healthier and more secure world for us all. It's not just about your kids, or your neighbor's kids, it's about everyone's kids. It's about celebrating childhood.