In Episode 06 – and second Amplify episode, a series that amplifies up and coming women in and around politics – Sarah Chamanara-Elder and Jill Promoli discuss the tragic sudden death of one of her children from the seasonal flu. Since then, Jill has become a tireless advocate to increase awareness about the importance of adults and children receiving the seasonal flu vaccine, and policy changes to prevent other parents from losing their children and family members.
“I realized if we had all of these questions and we had been thought we were fairly well informed then probably a lot of other people would also have these questions and maybe not have the information they need to protect themselves either. So I learned as much as I could and we thought about how we could share with friends and family what we had learned about why we had lost Jude and the more we learned, the more we realized that we couldn’t just put it out onto Facebook and say ok, well we learned what happened to Jude, he died from the flu and have people go off with their assumptions about it. We needed to make sure we were going to communicate it properly so people wouldn’t take the message to be that Jude had his flu shot and he died anyway and so the flu shot is pointless. We wanted people to understand how important it was that the more of us who take steps to prevent the flu and to protect ourselves and each other that the fewer stories there will be like ours and that Jude is sort of a fluke out of people that are protected and that the more we are doing as communities the better we can all be.”
Jill Promoli is a small business owner and mother of three. She became a flu prevention advocate after the sudden death of one of her twin boys in 2016. She founded For Jude, For Everyone, an organization dedicated to creating better awareness and understanding about the flu and other preventable illnesses. She and her family live in Mississauga, Ontario. Jill is the Ontario Liberal candidate in the riding of Mississauga—Streetsville.