The 10th annual Give Kids A Shot Gala was held at the Metropolitan Club, One East 60th Street. The Nancy Ford Springer Award was given by her son Nick Springer to Dell Miller, NMA T.E.A.M. Member and Advocate. Nick Springer at fourteen had his world turned upside down and was changed forever. He contacted Meningococcal meningitis a disease that infects about 2,500 Americans each year. 250 to 375 will die and up to 475 more will suffer lifelong effects like hearing loss, brain damage, kidney failure and amputations. You can hear about this in here. Nick after 17 surgeries lost all his limbs. His father press agent Gary Springer and his wife Nancy immediately stated, ‘this is our new normal.” They were just happy their son was alive.
Nick, won a gold medal in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. Tragically, Nicks mother Nancy died of liver cancer the day after he won the gold medal. Gary Springer stated “I was standing there in China, and I was watching him, and I was so hoarse when they put the medal on him. I was so proud. It was one of the greatest moments. I was also thinking that the games are over, and now I have to tell him that we have to leave in the morning because his mother is in a coma.”
Gary Springer created an award at the NMA’s to honor Nancy and has worked tirelessly to support both his son and the organization that seeks to help others. NMA works to protect families from the devastating effects of meningococcal disease by educating the public, medical professionals and others about the disease and vaccines available to prevent it. NMA was formed in 2002 by parents whose children died or live with permanent disabilities from meningococcal disease. Like many families, NMA’s founders were unaware that meningococcal disease vaccination could have prevented their anguish. Since NMA was founded, great strides have been made in meningitis prevention. NMA has supported the creation of broad recommendations for meningococcal vaccines to protect all preteens and teens, worked to advocate for state vaccination requirements and helped increase awareness and vaccine uptake. The organization also provides emotional support for individuals and families who have experienced meningococcal disease.
To accomplish its goals, NMA develops programs and resources that reach audiences on national and grassroots levels. Parents, disease survivors and other family members help carry out NMA’s mission by conducting community awareness activities across the country through two key programs: Moms on Meningitis (M.O.M.s) and Together Educating About Meningitis (T.E.A.M.).
Bravo to Nick Springer for making the best out of life and three cheers to Gary for loving, supporting and being the best father their is to Nick.
In attendance were: