40 years of Memories, Moments and Milestones


As I am about to hit a big milestone in my  life and as I look back at all that I’ve accomplished in these 40 years –  to many, it may not seem like a lot when I recap my own timeline – but to me, every memory, moment and milestone I’ve experienced has made me who I am today.

Me – age 2.

Me and Mark – 1975

Whether it was a favorite toy, becoming a big sister to my little brother, my first day of kindergarten or getting to be an angel in the church Christmas play…these are the moments from my 40 years of life that are all me.   While others may have had similar experiences, these exact moments are 100% mine…all mine.

But, as so many of you have heard me say before – and I will remind you here again –  there are so many children who will never get to see similar milestones I’ve had the joy of experiencing in my somewhat short 40 years.

However, we can help change that and I’m giving you a chance to start today!  Why today?  Well, because today is World Polio Day!  No, it’s not your typical Hallmark holiday.  It’s better!  Today  – October 24 – is bigger than any of those holidays!  Today is the day we get to consider being a part of history.  Today is the day we celebrate and commit to eradicating polio from the world for good!  Could you imagine having the power to make that happen?

Kindergarten 1977 – I’m on the end of the second row – left side! Yep – the one with the buster brown haircut!

Thirty Five years ago, when I started kindergarten (something 1 in 5 kids around the world will never do) I never could have imagined my life at 40.  I mean, come on…40 seemed so old back then!  And I know that I was most certainly not thinking about helping to eradicate polio on my 40th birthday!  But the one thing I am fairly certain I was thinking was “when do I get to go home and ride my bike” or “climb that tree” or “see my friends”.  All memories that stay with me, 40 years later.  But these are moments that other children will have robbed from them because they did not have access to a simple vaccine.  A vaccine that works.  A vaccine that helps save lives.

So…if the answer is so simple…then what are we waiting for!  We CAN help eliminate polio for good.  Could you imagine making that happen? Being part of something so big that you can’t even imagine how to make it happen?  Right here, right now…we have the power to do just that!  We have the power to change lives, make history and create memories, moments and milestones for children around the world.  So why not start today?

For my 40th birthday I wanted to do something to mark the day.  Parties are great, and I do plan to have some fun to celebrate – but I wanted to do something more.  Something I love to do.  So, as a Shot@Life Champion, I am raising funds to help Shot@Life vaccinate 40 children for my 40th birthday.  These life-saving vaccines include polio plus measles, rotavirus and pneumonia.  4 deadly (and totally preventable) diseases that generally eliminate a child’s chance of having another birthday to celebrate.  It’s simple…just click on the link below to send your donation, and commitment, to be part of the change I am hoping to see in the world.  Part of the memory I am making to celebrate my 40 years and part of the moment when another mother finds out her baby will have another birthday ahead of them, another school year to start and another Christmas play to be an angel.

Jen – Christmas angel – circa 1979

To donate now, visit this link to access my fundraising page:  http://www.crowdrise.com/jens40thbday

Many thanks to those who have already generously supported my efforts in my personal campaign!  Your generosity and support of my graceful aging has allowed me to offer hope and more “moments” to parents and children who may not have seen them before.  So for that, me and my 40 year old self thank you for your compassion and generosity.

Happy World Polio Day!  ~ October 24, 2012


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