In 2009, Dana’s daughter Samantha was a heathy 17-year-old high school athlete when she woke up with flu-like symptoms and decided to stay home from school. By the time she arrived at the doctor’s office later that day, she had developed a purple rash on her skin. Her doctor recognized it as a symptom of meningococcal disease and rushed her to the ER. She was placed in a medically-induced coma for six days while connected to 14 different machines that kept her alive.
Samantha spent another six days in the hospital followed by two months of recovery at home. She had been vaccinated, but she contracted serogroup B meningococcal disease. At the time, there was no vaccine available to protect against it. Now, there is. Dana is dedicated to raising awareness about available vaccines to make sure teens and young adults are fully protected against this disease.