Sheri’s 19-year-old daughter, Amy, was active in competitive snowboarding and other outdoor activities and had a promising career as a massage therapist when she contracted meningococcal disease. One summer day in 1999, Amy called her mother to tell her she wasn’t feeling well; she had a stiff neck and felt extremely tired. Later that day, Amy began vomiting and became so ill that she had to be rushed to the emergency room. Doctors diagnosed Amy with meningococcal blood infection. To save her life, they had to amputate both of her legs below the knee and remove her spleen and a kidney due to organ damage. Amy also lost hearing in her left ear. Today Amy is doing well and works with other athletes who have experienced similar disabilities.
“It’s an absolute miracle Amy is alive today,” said Sheri. “It was only after she contracted the disease that we learned about the vaccine. My goal is that by telling my story, I can help educate parents about the disease and prevention methods before it is too late.”