1999-2000 RSV Awareness Campaign


We finished up our national five city tour with WNBA champion and Olympic gold medal winner (as well as the first woman to have a NIKE shoe named after her) Sheryl Swoopes!! She has been a wonderful spokesperson for MOST in this campaign and because of her commitment to helping families become more aware of what RSV is and how it might be prevented we have been able to reach MILLIONS of families all over the United States during this tour.

We kicked off the 1999 RSV awareness program on November 1, 1999 with nineteen mayors from across the US signing a proclamation making the first week of November RSV Awareness week in their city. I was in Houston at Texas Children's Hospital with Dr. Speer and MOST volunteers Cindy Willenborg and Wendy Noriega for a press conference to announce this campaign. The next day some of our New York and New Jersey families had the chance to speak on the NBC- Today Show about RSV Awareness and MOST. Much thanks to Nina Priore, Cheryl Clifford, Suzanne Kreiswirth and Ann Lademann (and their children) for withstanding the awful weather to get this important message out. They did a wonderful job. From there Sheryl and I did several television, newspaper and magazine interviews and many, many of our local area coordinators were called upon to be available for interviews during this time. Pam Pace, our National Volunteer Coordinator for 1999, did an outstanding job under a ton of pressure to have families available in every state. Thanks so much to all of our families who were ready to represent MOST within their communities; your support has been tremendously appreciated.

On December 13th we went to Miami for the first event in the "Take a Shot Against RSV" Tour. We were fortunate to have several of our board members there (Kate Sullivan Collopy and Louisa Michelin) and Mary Wood our local MOST area coordinator available for interviews, to tour Baptist Children's Hospital NICU unit and to help man the MOST table outside Miami Killian high school basketball game- boy can these girls play basketball, they were wonderful. At Baptist Hospital, as was the case at every single one of the other hospitals we visited, the staff was wonderful in opening up their doors to us and so hospitable in giving us a tour and sharing what is so unique about each of their units. I would like to thank Dr. Kunjana Mavunda for her support and assistance while we were in Miami. This was such a great experience for us.

From Miami we flew to New York City and were greeted by Suzanne Kreiswirth one of our New Jersey coordinators. We were at Martin Luther King Jr. High School accompanied by Dr. Michael ("Let me in the game coach") Frogel representing Schneider Children's Hospital North Shore- Long Island Jewish Health System. The money earned from the Take A Shot campaign for this hospital will be used toward the purchase of a digital camera and printer so that every parent of a baby in the NICU will have a picture of their baby (or babies, ideally co-bedding) throughout their NICU experience. Each of the hospitals has been requested to use the monies earned toward a family centered program such as this.

The following day Sheryl did a whirlwind media tour in New York City and then we were off to Chicago (so aptly named the windy city). I was fortunate enough to have a chance to tour Evanston Hospital NICU while I was there. Dr. Hageman from Evanston attended the game that afternoon which helped to raise $1,000 for the NICU unit.
After a much-needed two-week break for Christmas and New Years we were off again to Sheryl's home state of Texas and then to Los Angeles. Each city was better than the last and the hospitality at the local hospitals was wonderful. This tour has been tremendously successful in helping to educate communities about RSV and ways that it may be prevented.

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