Information for parents and others about how children and young people with cancer were affected by the measles outbreak in 2011.
This booklet is accompanied by a video where Leroy Beckett, who was undergoing cancer treatment during the 2011 outbreaks, talks about his fears about measles and how others being immunised is important to keep people like him safe.
Hi, I’m Leroy Beckett, I had chemotherapy for two years (ish), because of lymphoblastic lymphoma.
Measles for me just meant that I couldn’t go out and do anything during the epidemic, because my immunity was so low. Even though I’d been immunised, I wouldn’t have been able to fight measles if I had’ve got it. And half of all chemotherapy patients who do get measles die, so it’s a bit of a big deal.
I think it’s really important for people to get immunised, because it means people … if everyone had immunity, there wouldn’t be the epidemic, and people could just live their lives, people who are immune compromised. But because people aren’t immunised, it means there is that added risk. By not immunising, you’re putting not just yourself in danger, but everyone else who can’t be immunised, or who don’t have the immunity.
If you’re not immunised, you’re kind of riding off everyone else who is immunised. So it’s a bit like, ‘oh, yes, it’s good for them’, but you have to think about all the other people who don’t have the chance to be immunised, or can’t for medical reasons, or who it didn’t work for. So it’s very … it’s life threatening for a lot of people, can leave people who serious illnesses or disabilities. So you kind of have to think it’s for the greater good, almost.