Parent Pushes for Meningitis Vaccinations

By Amanda Fitzpatrick
|  Monday, Aug 15, 2011  |  Updated 10:51 AM CDT
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Mother of meningitis victim stresses need for vaccinations.

Amanda Fitzpatrick, NBCDFW

Mother of meningitis victim stresses need for vaccinations.

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Four years after her daughter's death, Tammy Futterman is not at peace.

Her daughter, Rachel, was an avid swimmer from Plano, who left friends and family to attend the University of South Florida and dreamt of becoming a lawyer.

At 19, Rachel contracted Bacterial Meningitis and died.

Since then her family has vowed to get the story out and bring awareness about the dangers of the disease.

Rachel, who was away at school, was not vaccinated against the disease. Her mother, Tammy, says it was because her school did not require students to get vaccinated from the disease.
 
Now Tammy Futterman is working hard to stress the importance of getting teens and young adults vaccinated.

"Hindsight was 20/20," Futterman said, "You can go by the odds, what are the chances of your child not getting it, but, in our house, it was a hundred percent."

Tammy is sharing Rachel's story through social media and other outlets to inspired changes in policy. Rachel's school, the University of South Florida, now makes vaccinations a requirement to for students who live on campus.

Students living off-campus, however, are not required to be vaccinated. Tammy hopes that will change. She hopes fighting to get tougher vaccination laws against Bacteria Meningitis will help save other lives.

The family has also helped to save lives by donating Rachel's organs to seven different people.

For more information on Meningitis and vaccinations, visit the National Meningitis Association website by clicking here. Also visit Vaccines For Teens for information on other vaccinations for teenagers.

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