(Written in January of 2011 by Marcella Piper-Terry, M.S.)
Dear Alisyn Camerota:
You don’t know me.
Hold that thought.
I don’t know you. I don’t watch Fox “News” or anything else on Fox, except an occasional episode of American Idol. It took me a few years to get to the point where I would watch AI, mainly because I don’t have time to waste watching people be insulted and belittled. I did, however, get to the point where I was able to look beyond Simon Cowell’s nastiness because I was getting something good from watching some very talented young people as they received recognition and were able to achieve their dreams. That’s what’s called a cost-benefit analysis. I put up with Simon because the rags-to-riches journey was worth my time. I have always been a singer and if American Idol had been on when I was younger I would have been right there, standing in line.
I have never made the leap to Fox News. I’ve watched a couple of “News” shows on Fox, and have never felt there was anything there that was worth the time or worth putting up with the theatrics. So… I don’t know you. I do know that there are some people who’s opinions I value, who have been defending and promoting you over the last several months. They are parents of children diagnosed with “autism” – many of whom have received that diagnosis as a result of vaccine damage. From what I’ve heard, you have been the one journalist in the mainstream media who has been willing to give a voice to both sides of the vaccine-autism debate.
Your interview with Dr. Andrew Wakefield yesterday has caused quite a stir among the very people who have been singing your praises and increasing your viewership. Some are upset because you were “aggressive” with Dr. Wakefield. I watched a clip of the interview (courtesy of youtube) and I don’t have a problem with your grilling of Dr. W. He’s a big boy. He’s very smart, and he has the truth on his side. Besides, compared to others who have “interviewed” him, you were by far more fair and at least provided him the opportunity to finish a sentence, even if he had to talk over you to do it.
What upset me (and many other parents of “autistic” children) was your attack on us.
YOU DON’T KNOW ME. You don’t know my life. You don’t know my child. You don’t know what I have been through over the last 16 years.
How can you say, “Parents are not the experts?”
Do you know any parents of children who have regressed after vaccination? Have you interviewed any of them on your show? Let me tell you a little bit about our lives.
My daughter was born when I was 34 years old. The pregnancy with her was a miracle, following multiple miscarriages, a nearly fatal blood clot, and two back surgeries. I had been told not to even try to get pregnant because I most likely couldn’t carry a child full-term, and I very well might not make it through the pregnancy alive. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant but it happened. I won’t bore you with all the details, but after many weeks in bed and giving myself heparin injections every 8 hours for months, my beautiful daughter was born.
I was obsessed with her. I took more photographs and videos of her than you can imagine. Every smile was caught on camera and every word was on video. When she started getting ear infections over-and-over-and-over again (something that is common among vaccine-injured children), I was the one who took her to the doctor’s office and the emergency room, over-and-over-and-over again. I was the one who held her while she cried for hours in pain. I was the one who set the alarm and got up night-after-night alternating tylenol and motrin trying to get her extremely high fevers (“of unknown origin”) to abate. I was the one researching for hours on end trying to figure out what the rashes meant, and why she was stuttering. I was the one who stamped my foot and went up the chain of command at Andrews Air Force Base Primary Care until I finally got the referrals I needed to have her evaluated for seizures and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Johns Hopkins. I was the one who took her to Walter Reed for the Psychological Evaluation, and to Bethesda for the Developmental Pediatrics Evaluation. Later, I was the one who took her to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis when she was diagnosed with scoliosis – and I was the one who took her to Vanderbilt to be evaluated for Neurofibromatosis. I have also been the one to hold her when she was covered with hives and begging to die. And I have held her while she seized and stopped breathing, 3 hours after receiving a vaccine.
Over the last 16 years, my daugher and her health have been the most important focus in my life. I know her better than anyone. I also know more about vaccine injury, immune system damage, viruses, bacteria, autoimmune disease, yeast, parasites, food-allergies, eczema, seizures, visual and auditory processing disorders, ADHD, anxiety, frustration, and pain than any pediatrician on the planet. And I am not alone. I am just one parent. My daughter is just ONE child. If that were the end of the story, you could say it was anecdotal. But it’s not the end of the story.
We are strong. We are intelligent. We are motivated, and we are connected. We talk, we share, we support each other, and we have become a force to be reckoned with. YOU may believe we are not the experts, but we know better. And so do the pharmaceutical companies. And THAT is precisely why mainstream media has consistently pursued Dr. Wakefield as its sacrificial lamb. This is not about Dr. Wakefield. It’s about scrambling to discredit the entire autism-vaccine argument before the other half of American parents finally wake up and realize what’s happening to our children.
This is not just about autism. It’s not just about the MMR. And it’s not just about Dr. Wakefield.
There are many of us, and our numbers are growing. And guess what?
We are not going away.