About the Post

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A born and raised Southern Belle, Rebecca is currently studying at Presbyterian College looking to pursue a career in broadcast journalism as a reporter. An avid blogger, she works with the online newspaper The Hudsucker. She also is a part-time Social Media Marketing Consultant. Rebecca is a proud member of Sigma Sigma Sigma who's philanthropy serves children. Rebecca also has the distinct privilege of working with Sounds of Pertussis where she campaigns about the awareness of Pertussis and it's prevention by the Adult Tdap booster. This honor is done in loving member of her cousin, Landon Carter Dube, who's life was taken too soon from this disease. Rebecca loves her Lord Jesus Christ and enjoys pursuing her passion for telling people's stories!

Carter’s Cause

This week has marked three years since a dramatic loss for my family. Three years ago on January 28th, 2010 a little baby earned his heavenly wings when his life was taken by the disease, Pertussis.

The name Pertussis may ring a bell. It has been a constant in the headlines recently. Pertussis has hit a record high in 2012 as babies are sent to the hospital with the symptoms. NBC reports that the USA is on the rise to have the worse number of Whopping Cough in over 50 years.

Pertussis begins as what seems like cold symptoms: a runny-nose, low grade fever, and a mild cough. However with Pertussis, the symptoms will escalate quickly. This was the case with my cousin in 2010. Within a week of going to the doctor for a presumed “cold,” he was in the ICU hooked up to multiple machines. Then on the 28th of January, Whooping Cough claimed his life. His death shook my whole family.

For many months after, I struggled with grief and regret. Due to sickness and other circumstances, I wasn’t able to meet little Carter before he got sick. Soon our family made it our personal mission to keep Carter’s memory alive; especially his Mom and Dad. My cousin and Carter’s Mom, Felicia Dube, traveled to places such as New York and worked alongside NASCAR drive, Jeff Gordon, raising awareness about Pertussis. She shared her own personal story any chance she got and worked with charities such as Sounds of Pertussis and March of Dimes.

Landon Carter Dube. Image Credit: Rebecca Rowell

She inspired me with her strength and courage in the wake of the loss of her son. She carried on and turned her grief into a purpose. Since then we’ve all worked for what we call “Carter’s Cause.” I want to bring awareness on the third anniversary of his passing about the seriousness of Pertussis and the benefit of keeping adults and children vaccinated.

Many babies cannot get their vaccinations until they are a month old (Carter himself was only a few weeks away from getting his first round of vaccines when he originally got sick).  Since young babies are vulnerable, keep children and adults (including yourself) updated on their boosters. This can keep both you healthy and protect the young infants you may interact with daily.

Carter never got the chance to crawl, say his first word, and he isn’t celebrating his third birthday this year. Instead we again are reminded of the loss we faced in 2010. There is also hope as well. Hope in securing the future of other babies in Carter’s name. I’m trying to do my best to keep his memory alive.

Are you vaccinated? Are your children and you updated on boosters? If not, then change it. It could be the difference between life and death.

For more information on Pertussis, be sure to visit “Sounds of Pertussis” and find out where you can get vaccinated and protect your children.

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