Protecting children, families, and communities against influenza.

Family Stories

The emotional stories of families whose lives have been permanently altered by the flu.

Our family stories put a face on the flu and illustrate why we’re so driven in our mission. Flu is a serious disease and we are all at risk, regardless of age, gender, health status, ethnicity, or lifestyle. We share these emotional family stories to educate others about the importance of flu prevention and annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older.

Here you’ll learn about a four-year-old girl who went to bed with mild flu-like symptoms, never to wake up; a six-month-old baby boy who died only 30 hours after showing his first symptoms of being sick; and a 33-year-old woman who survived flu, but was hospitalized for three months and suffered an amputation above the knee as a result of her illness.

Our Stories...

The Allen Family

Madi survived influenza, but to this day, she still struggles with side effects of her near-death experience.

Read Madi’s story
The Andersen Family

Brittany’s infection with Influenza A started with a sore throat, but rapidly escalated to every parent’s worst nightmare.

Read Britt’s story
The Booth Family

The flu progressed to pneumonia and Austin was also found to have MRSA. It was more than his body could fight.

Read Austin’s story
The Byerman Family

Bryerlee became hypoxic due to flu, which restricted her body from getting oxygen to her brian, liver and other organs.

Read Bryerlee's story
The Cargile Family

Maya’s mother knows that a flu vaccine could have prevented their horrible ordeal.

Read Maya’s story
The Chandler Family

Chance's family did not know that the vaccine changes annually and as such people need to get vaccinated every year.

Read Chance's Story
The Cover Family

Three days after first exhibiting symptoms, the flu virus caused Elizabeth's lungs to fill with blood in a complication known as bi-lateral pneumonia.

Read Elizabeth's Story
The Craft Family

Chelsea was not vaccinated against H1N1 because at the time the vaccine was not available in her community.

Read Chelsea's Story
The D’Imperio Family

The autopsy revealed that James had influenza and a bronchial virus; however, he had no other illnesses or risk factors.

Read James's Story
The Das Family

Anakin was born 10 weeks premature as a result of his mother contracting influenza while pregnant. He now suffers from chronic lung disease.

Read Anakin's story
The Drapeau Family

Amiah was just 4-years-old when she developed pneumonia and sepsis, brought on by the influenza B virus.

Read Amiah's story
The Duvall Family

Luke was a healthy 15-year-old athlete who spent 12 days in a coma and 30 days hospitalized with flu.

Read Luke's Story
The Estlinbaum Family

Saying goodbye to Tony was something his parent’s hearts couldn’t or wouldn’t prepare for.

Read Tony's Story
The Fulweiler Family

At 40 years old, Nick was an active, healthy father whose flu illness resulted in a life-threatening hospitalization for 28 days, rehabilitation, and lifelong medical complications.

Read Nick's Story
The Gonzales Family

At 12:46 p.m. on October 29, 2009, Brandon lost his life to H1N1 influenza. Brandon was not vaccinated against the flu.

Read Brandon's Story
The Gorenstein Family

Drastic changes in blood pressure, failing kidneys and other serious problems plagued Nate’s recovery. But, slowly he started to improve.

Read Nate's Story
The Hauver Family

Will was a young, successful college athlete who had a bright future. He was also a Type 1 diabetic. Will's flu illness progressed to diabetic ketoacidosis, causing him to lose his life in less than three days.

Read Will's Story
The Haynes Family

Latasha was a healthy, active 34-year-old when what seemed like a simple illness turned into pneumonia and congestive heart failure brought on by the flu virus.

Read Latasha's story
The Henderson Family

Elijah died from influenza, just two days after showing his first symptom. He was not vaccinated against the flu.

Read Elijah's Story
The Holt Family

Joey’s brother, Jeffrey, was also hospitalized and admitted for a week because of similar symptoms.

Read Joey's Story
The Hunt Family

Amy lost her life to secondary complications caused by the influenza virus. She had not been vaccinated because it was not recommended by her family's doctor.

Read Amy's story
The Jackson Family

This tragedy has made Marques’ mother and grandfather crusaders for yearly influenza vaccinations.

Read Marques' Story
The Kanowitz Family

Amanda’s mother called the family doctor, who told her that she had received over 60 calls that weekend about the same virus.

Read Amanda's Story
The Lastinger Family

After she was bathed and dressed for the doctor’s office, Emily laid down in her parents’ bed to rest. She was found lifeless 15 minutes later.

Read Emily's Story
The Lin Family

Trevor’s father is currently campaigning for improved criteria for the health care practitioner evaluation of and hospitalization of children with influenza.

Read Trevor's Story
The Lowery Family

Piper had not been vaccinated against the flu because she did not like needles. Piper’s mother, Pegy, is now an active advocate for annual flu vaccinations.

Read Piper's Story
The Mann-O'Brien Family

Kendra was a 35-year-old mother of two when she lost her life to flu.

Read Kendra's Story
The Marotta Family

Joseph had not been vaccinated against H1N1 influenza because at the time the vaccine was not available in his community.

Read Joseph's Story
The McCarthy Family

What seemed like a little “bug” where she was achy with a fever, turned into her struggling for breath and fighting for her life.

Ready Ayzlee's Story
The McCormick Family

Ashley’s doctors had a hard time finding a hospital that had an available ECMO machine because it was the peak of the flu season and they were all being used.

Read Ashley's Story
The McGowan Family

Martin died of complications from influenza just 24 hours after his first symptom appeared.

Read Martin's Story
The McKinley-Rosen Family

Although he has not spoken a word again since the injury, his mother remains optimistic that she will hear him call her “Mommy” again soon.

Read Christopher's Story
The Miller Family

Allison nearly lost her life to secondary flu complications, which included amputation of her left leg above the knee.

Read Allison's Story
The Miller Family

Caroline had been vaccinated against the flu every year except this particular year.

Read Caroline's Story
The Mitchell Family

As a result of her flu illness, Christa developed pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and septic shock, which led to the loss of her fingers and toes.

Read Christa's Story
The Moise Family

Ian died on December 17, 2003 of complications from Influenza A, approximately 30 hours after he showed his first symptom of being sick.

Read Ian's Story
The Neiman-Brown Family

JJ was a healthy two-year-old whose life was taken by flu in less than 24 hours.

Read JJ's story
The Northrop Family

As Liza's body tried to fight off her flu infection, her lungs became stiff and brittle, until they blew apart from what is known as pneumothorax.

Read Liza's story
The Nuland Family

Jacob’s mother knows that the vaccine may have saved his life – it may have given Jacob just enough protection to get through it.

Read Jacob's Story
The Palmer Family

Breanne died in her mother’s arms on December 23, 2003 from Influenza A.

Read Breanne's Story
The Peters Family

Prior to her illness, it was never suggested that Brittney receive a flu vaccine. She was a very happy, healthy child with no history of chronic illness.

Read Brittney's Story
The Pisani Family

Today, Antonio is a healthy child who gets vaccinated against influenza every year, as does his entire family.

Read Antonio's Story
The Pulgini Family

Cecilia was a healthy 45-year-old woman before she lost her life to flu after eight agonizing days in the hospital.

Read Cecilia's Story
The Rasmussen Family

Paul was a healthy 57-year-old who had never before gotten the flu. He didn't realize his first flu illness could kill him. 

Read Paul's story
The Rogers Family

Jewel was hospitalized for over three months at five hospitals with complications of H1N1 flu. She still suffers flu-related complications to this day.

Read Jewel's Story
The Sidari Family

Leon was healthy and vibrant. But that didn't keep him from dying on Christmas morning, only two days after showing general flu symptoms.

Read Leon's story
The Smith Family

In less than 48 hours, flu took the life of bubbly, joyous 3-year-old Cayden.

Read Cayden's Story
The Smith Family

In the blink of an eye, a parent’s worst nightmare became the Smith’s reality.

Read Noel's Story
The Splan Family

The flu attacked Emma's heart, causing her to lose her life at just 6 years old.

Read Emma's Story
The Stein Family

When 4-year-old Jessica's heart stopped beating doctors attempted to revive her, but were unsuccessful.

Read Jessica's Story
The Tsoumbakos Family

For many months after influenza, Ayla required a wheelchair and had difficulty walking unassisted.

Read Ayla's Story
The Vlasman Family

Marty spent six weeks in a coma due to flu. His heart stopped three times, his kidneys failed, and he lost over 100 pounds. He still stuffers with chronic health complications.

Read Marty's story
The Wehrkamp Family

Her family wants everyone to know how serious the flu can be, even for healthy children like Gianna.

Read Gianna's Story
The Yaksich Family

Within 24 hours of her arrival at the local hospital, Alana died of flu-related complications that caused swelling and injury to her brain.

Read Alana's Story
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