Michael McDonald met Leo Chan at 16 years-old and they instantly hit it off. It was as if the two had known each other their entire lives. Michael shared Leo’s clear desire to change the world and bring compassion to those around him. Their friendship blossomed for years until suddenly, one Saturday morning, Leo was hospitalized. Four days later, he passed away. Michael had lost his best friend to bacterial meningitis. He was devastated.

“Here’s the really important part — Leo was my best friend, but he could have just as easily been your friend or even you,” says Michael. The most difficult part of finding out was discovering that Leo’s death might have been preventable. A vaccine that protects against meningococcal disease is offered to students in Canada and protects against the exact strain that took Leo’s life. The vaccine is available for purchase for those not eligible through the nationwide student program.

Why prevention is important

Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Bacterial meningitis is very serious and can be deadly. Death can occur in as little as a few hours, so it is very important to be educated on preventative action. The most effective way to protect yourself and your children against certain types of bacterial meningitis is to get vaccinated.

Immunization is the best way to avoid the transmission of infectious diseases. It’s crucial to take Leo’s story to recognize the importance of vaccines and their ability to be a powerful life-saving tool against infectious diseases such as meningitis.

Visit leoinspiresus.com to learn more about bacterial meningitis and Leo’s lasting legacy.