Mission: To save lives and reduce hospitalizations by 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 to 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. 

Our Stories...

The Allen Family

Madi was a healthy 12-year-old athlete before she spent a total of 93 days in the hospital recovering from her near-death experience with flu.

Read Madi’s story
The Andersen Family

Brittany’s flu infection stopped her heart. 

Read Britt’s story
The Booth Family

Austin’s parents wish they could rewind to before their nightmare began to get vaccinated against the flu.

Read Austin’s story
The Byerman Family

Bryerlee's flu illness was almost deadly - but thankfully she survived.

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

Elizabeth was just 23-months-old when she passed away. 

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 Crane Family

Blake's parents did not know that people die from the flu until it happened to their son.

Read Blake's story
The D’Imperio Family

James died from the flu despite having no obvious risk factors. 

Read James's story
The Darling Family

Isabella's flu illness damaged her lungs, leading to a double lung transplant.

Read Isabella's story
The Das Family

Anakin was born 10 weeks premature because his mother had the flu while pregnant.

Read Anakin's story
The Drapeau Family

Amiah was just 4-years-old when she died from 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 in the hospital with flu.

Read Luke's Story
The Estlinbaum Family

Tony was one of the first children hospitalized with H1N1 in the US.

Read Tony's story
The Fulweiler Family

Nick's flu illness caused a 28-day hospitalization and multiple medical complications.

Read Nick's story
The Gonzales Family

Brandon lost his life to H1N1 influenza.

Read Brandon's story
The Gorenstein Family

Nate's asthma exacerbated his flu illness and his heart stopped beating.

Read Nate's Story
The Hall Family

Shari was a healthy mom and wife whose flu illness led to 41 days in the ICU and multiple amputations.

Read Shari's story
The Hauver Family

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.

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 Hinderliter Family

Charlie was a healthy 38-year-old whose flu illness put him in the hospital for 58 days.

Read Charlie's story
The Holt Family

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

Read Joey's Story
The Hunt Family

Amy lost her life to secondary complications caused by the influenza virus.

Read Amy's story
The Jackson Family

Marques’ death has made his family crusaders for yearly influenza vaccinations.

Read Marques' Story
The Kanowitz Family

Amanda seemed to have a typical virus, but within 48 hours she was found lifeless in her bed.

Read Amanda's Story
The Katz Family

Aviva Katz was a pediatric surgeon recovering from leukemia who died from the flu.

Read Aviva's story
The Lastinger Family

Emily laid down in her parents’ bed to rest. She was found lifeless 15 minutes later.

Read Emily's Story
The Lin Family

Trevor died from H1N1 influenza during the 2009 pandemic.

Read Trevor's Story
The Lowery Family

The year she died, Piper had not been vaccinated against the flu because she did not like needles. 

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” that caused Ayzlee to feel achy with a fever turned into her struggling for breath and fighting for her life.

Read 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

Christopher had a sudden onset of influenza B that caused a brain injury. 

Read Christopher's story
The Miller Family

Allison's flu illness resulted in the amputation of her left leg above the knee.

Read Allison's story
The Miller Family

Caroline had been vaccinated against the flu every year. The one year her parents forgot, she ended up hospitalized with flu.

Read Caroline's story
The Mitchell Family

Christa lost some of her fingers and all of her toes from the flu.

Read Christa's story
The Moise Family

Ian died of complications from influenza A 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

Liza was not vaccinated against flu the year she died. 

Read Liza's story
The Nuland Family

Jacob has been hospitalized twice from the flu. Flu vaccination may have saved his life both times. 

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 Parks Family

Kennedy was a vibrant and otherwise healthy 2-year-old who died suddenly from the flu in 2023.

Read Kennedy's story
The Pena Family

Reese's mother thought the flu vaccine was optional. This one decision not to vaccinate forever changed her life.

Read Reese's story
The Peters Family

Prior to her death, no one suggested that Brittney receive a flu vaccine. 

Read Brittney's story
The Pisani Family

Antonio wasn't vaccinated against the flu because at the time it wasn't recommended for his age. 

Read Antonio's story
The Pulgini Family

Cecilia lost her life to the flu after eight agonizing days in the hospital.

Read Cecilia's story
The Rasmussen Family

Paul was a healthy 57-year-old whose first-ever flu illness led to his death. 

Read Paul's story
The Rogers Family

Jewel was hospitalized for over three months with complications of H1N1 flu.

Read Jewel's story
The Romero Family

Madison passed away from flu after her heart stopped beating for the fourth time.

Read Madison's story
The Schwolert Family

Max was a healthy, 17-year-old athlete whose life was tragically cut short by flu.

Read Max's story
The Sidari Family

Leon died on Christmas morning, only two days after showing flu symptoms.

Read Leon'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 Smith Family

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

Read Cayden'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 Stevenson Family

Kaden was an otherwise healthy, active 7-year-old who ended up losing both of his legs due to complications from flu.

Read Kaden's story
The Swenson Family

Josiah was hospitalized with flu during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Josiah's Story
The Teichman Family

Brent was a vibrant and healthy 29-year-old chef who died just four hours after seeking medical care.

Read Brent's story
The Termulo Family

Reese was a 16-year-old who died suddenly from the flu.

Read Reese's story
The Tsoumbakos Family

Ayla almost lost her arms and legs because of the flu. 

Read Ayla's story
The Vlasman Family

Marty went out with friends to celebrate New Year's Eve. When he woke up, it was February.

Read Marty's story
The Wehrkamp Family

In less than two days, the flu took Gianna's life while she was sleeping.

Read Gianna's story
The Yaksich Family

Alanna died from swelling and injury to her brain from the flu. 

Read Alana's story
The Zabel Family

Kayauna was a healthy 20-year-old who died from a flu infection that caused multi-system organ failure. 

Read Kayauna's story
The Zenus Family

Aaron was a healthy 12-year-old who died from flu only 72 hours after his first symptoms appeared.

Read Aaron's Story

Page last reviewed: September 2021. 

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