You’ve probably heard Ethan Lindenberger’s name recently, as he’s the teen who celebrated his 18th birthday by getting vaccinated after growing up with an anti-vaxx mom.
The Ohio resident had gone his first 18 years of life without ever being immunized. His mother, Jill Wheeler, was fearful that vaccinations could cause diseases such as autism or brain damage.
But Ethan decided he wanted to do his own research and realized that he wanted to be able to protect himself from diseases such as influenza, hepatitis, tetanus and HPV. “I looked into it; it was clear there was way more evidence in defense of vaccines,” he said.
This came at a time of a measles outbreak that had affected more than 100 people in the United States this year alone. The outbreak caused an increased scrutiny of anti-vaxx parents, such as Ethan’s mother.
Well after finally getting vaccinated once he was legally able to, Ethan announced via a YouTube video that he was invited to testify before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on March 5, 2019, at a hearing about outbreaks of preventable diseases.
He’ll be accompanied by several experts including John Wiesman, Washington state’s secretary of health, and Saad B. Omer, a professor at Emory University in Georgia.
“I’m looking forward to speaking in Washington, DC,” Ethan said in the video.
So what’s Mom have to say about all of this? She’s proud of him, despite going aginst what she believes in. “I’m very proud of him, for standing for what he believes in, even if it is against what I believe,” she said.
Hopefully she’ll still support him as he speaks in front of Congress on Tuesday!
To see the video he about it, check out the video below.
Will you be watching Ethan speak about his matter? What do you think of his story and desire to get vaccinated once he turned 18?