Flu Fighter: Katie Miller

Flu Fighter Katie Miller

Meet flu fighter, Katie Miller from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Katie became involved with Families Fighting Flu (FFF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children, families, and communities against flu, when she was in middle school. More recently, Katie has been serving as junior board member for that organization. Katie is passionate about encouraging her peers to get a flu vaccine, and she shares her sister’s story of being hospitalized with flu to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated every year.

  1. Why is fighting flu important to you, and how has it impacted you personally?
    Fighting flu has been important to me for 9 years. In 2012, my sister got what we thought was just a common cold but what ended up being flu. Two days later, she had developed pneumonia in both lungs and had to be put on an oscillating ventilator. Those were some of the scariest days for our family. Fortunately, thanks to the amazing medical professionals who cared for her, Caroline ended up surviving and made a full recovery. Even though my sister recovered, I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we went through. My entire family now promotes the importance of getting vaccinated to protect yourself and others from flu.
  2. What would you say to others who are hesitant to get a flu vaccine?
    The biggest thing I tell people about flu is that despite what people think, flu can escalate so quickly. There is always a risk of not getting vaccinated and ending up in a scary situation, like what my family experienced when my sister was hospitalized with flu. It’s important to understand how severe flu can be and how the vaccine can protect you, your family, and your friends, so that they won’t end up in a situation like my sister.
  3. What led you to be involved in Families Fighting Flu?
    Once my sister recovered from flu, one of the members of Families Fighting Flu reached out to my mom. After that, my mom got involved at FFF. In her role, she reached out to other families going through similar or even more difficult situations than my family went through.

    Then, when I was in middle school, I started working with my mom to help at fundraisers. At the end of my sophomore year of high school, I got involved on the junior board. I knew immediately I wanted to be more involved. Since then, it’s been an amazing experience.

  4. How are you taking a stance to fight flu?
    I try to spread awareness about flu through telling my sister’s story, about how sad and terrifying it was to spend Christmas in the hospital, not knowing if she was going to make it out. I think it’s important to share my sister’s story and other people’s stories with others my age. I want everyone to know that even young people who are otherwise healthy can get still get knocked out by flu. So much about fighting flu is explaining how flu isn’t just a common cold, that it is a very serious virus that can impact anyone. Above all, I want people to know that it’s important to get vaccinated to protect yourself and others.

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