Their Bad Mother

Their Bad Mother

Words Can Make A Difference

For most of the last year, I’ve been working to help my nephew, Tanner. I’ve been telling his story for a few years now, but – as you probably already know if you read this blog, and/or my other blog – his condition has deteriorated dramatically over the past year, and he and his family are facing some unique and difficult challenges, and I’ve been working really hard to do something about that, to figure out a way to help, both for his sake and for the sake of other children facing similar circumstances who might need the same sort of help in the future. I don’t claim to be going about it gracefully – even wearing a tutu, I am the antithesis of graceful – but I am going about it passionately, or at least I’m trying to, because I want to make a difference, for him and, hopefully, for other children who need to have difference made on their behalf.


Anyway. This post is not about Tanner, exactly. It’s more about the spirit of Tanner, or the spirit of the tutus, however you want to look at it. It’s about making another kind of difference, in a slightly different kind of way, but a difference – a necessary difference – nonetheless. It’s about other children, children who are not like Tanner in the obvious ways, but who need help just as much as Tanner does. It’s about helping those children.

It’s about helping these children. Babies, who are at risk of getting sick – very, very sick; terminally sick – but whose risk of illness can be eliminated, entirely. Babies whose lives can be saved.


I’ll let Carla Bruni-Sarkozy explain it:

These lives can be saved, before they even need saving. Transmission of HIV from mother to child can be prevented, entirely. It’s been almost entirely eliminated in the so-called developed world – let’s eliminate it from the developing world. Because we can. Because we should.


Because those lives are just as precious as Tanner’s. I can’t save Tanner’s life – I can only do what I can to ease what’s left of it, and work toward a future in which other boys don’t have their lives shortened like his. But these lives – the lives of babies who are being born to mothers with HIV – these lives we can save now. Right now. I want to try.

I’d love it you would help me try. It just takes a few words – the words that are your name, signed to a petition, asking your government to support this effort. That’s all. So little, and yet so much.


Just signatures. We can do that, right?

(Oh, and? I am going to Africa – to Lesotho – to see this effort first hand, and to wrap my heart around it, and to write about it, of course. If you help, you could join me. Really. Just click that link. It will tell you that if you can rally your community to sign that petition, you might be able to go to Lesotho, too. To see this all first-hand.

You should totally do this. Trip to Africa or no trip Africa, it’s an important – life-saving – cause. Please help?)


Here are more detailed details about what you can do to help AND join me on the trip (from the Facebook page):


We put this in your hands. We’re going to pick the person whogathers the most support for the campaign. We’re going to pick thesupporter that recruits the most people via to our Causes petitionand raises the mostawareness for the campaign.

Do you want to go? Here is what you need to do:

  1. Click on and click invite your friends (or use this link: ) and invite as many of your friends to sign up as possible (be sure to publish the link on your profile too).
  2. Gather support elsewhere. Write to blogs you know, persuade anyonethat can reach a big audience to promote the campaign, host promotionalevents at your local club. Persuade employees to sign up. Reallyinnovative promotional ideas will go down well here.
  3. Send an e-mail to telling us who you are, how many people you have recruited and what you did to promote the campaign.



At 5:59am, EDT, Sept 3rd, competition entries close and we will contact the winner the following day.

(That ‘gather support elsewhere’ thing is important to consider – the contest won’t be determined on signatures alone, but also on how much you can do to get the message out there: blog it, vlog it, tweet it, start a meme, anything. The more people get involved, the further the message goes; the further the message goes, the more signatures; the more signatures, the more likely it is that this campaign will get the funding it needs and will be able to get down to the work of saving lives. So.)

Julie of The Mom Slant is doing it. Aimee of Greeblemonkey can’t go on the trip, but she’s helping out anyway. As people jump on board, I’ll compile a list of participants to follow here, and post them here and at Her Bad Mother.

You’ll join us, right?

Comments read comments(10)
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Elizabeth @ Table for Five

posted August 25, 2010 at 10:45 am

I added my name to the petition. I’m having trouble forming the right words to express how I feel watching that video. I admire you more than I can express.

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posted August 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

How could I not sign?
Amazing people doing amazing things every where we look…
I am so proud to be a human sometimes.
I mean really…I could have been a really selfish prairie dog and life wouldn’t be anywhere near as fulfilling.

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posted August 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm

signed! and will do what I can to help. Once again you have inspired me! xoxo

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posted August 26, 2010 at 10:40 am

Awesome news Catherine. I’m a South African (living in the UK) and am very excited to hear about your trip to Lesotho. Let’s hope it makes as big an impression on you as it has done on Prince Harry 😉 Here’s hoping for loads of support and awareness resulting from your trip.

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tricia mumby

posted August 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

you are endlessly giving and energetic and amazing. Good for you! something we all wish we could get up the GO for! You Rock.

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posted August 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

This is incredible! Have you been to Africa before? It is life-altering. I’m excited to follow your journey.

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Missives From Suburbia

posted August 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Great cause. I couldn’t come with you if I won, but I’ll spread the word like wildfire anyway.

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posted August 31, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I’m in. I signed the petition and sent it to 75 of my nearest and dearest. Next steps are to post on my fb wall, tweet and then write a blog post. Thanks for sharing the info! As always – great post!

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quick geneva escort

posted September 2, 2010 at 1:34 am

Keep on posting such articles. I like to read blogs like that. BTW add some pics :)

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Nose in a book

posted September 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

What a fantastic campaign to get involved in. I look forward to reading more about it and may try to put together my own blog entry but actually going to Lesotho? That’s a brave, amazing thing to do.

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