By MAMAMIA TEAM
But it turns out, that’s not even the worst of it.
This organisation has been exposed for bullying grieving parents who have spoken publicly in favour of vaccination and stand accused of sending anonymous hate mail and making relentless cyber attacks.
Toni and David McCaffery – who lost their baby Dana to whooping cough in 2009 – spoke to News Ltd over the weekend and explained the horrific ordeal they have been through. Long time friends of Mamamia and the pro-vaccination movement, we’d like to share the McCaffrey’s story with you.
The McCaffreys lived in an area with terribly low vaccination rates and tragically this mean their daughter Dana lost her life, before she could be vaccinated against this preventable disease. Their daughter was put at risk because so many families in their immediate area had chosen not to vaccinate their own children.
Dana’s death prompted the McCaffreys to join the pro-vaccination movement. This brave couple were determined that no other parents should have to suffer the way they had. They wanted to make sure that people knew the real dangers of the diseases that vaccines have been invented for and to push back against the disturbingly effective scare campaigns of the anti vaccination movement.
But speaking out in favour of vaccinations, came at yet another price for the McCafferys. Their advocacy was met with widespread criticism by members of the Australian Vaccination Network.
Peter Bowditch wrote about the treatment the McCaffreys received for Mamamia last year.
So Toni and her husband Dave went public to warn other parents of very young children. They have made a point of never suggesting that the AVN or its activities were the cause of the baby’s death, even though the AVN are most active in the area in which they live – the area with a dangerously high number of non-vaccinated children.
This respect has not been reciprocated.
Meryl Dorey [the former head of the Australian Vaccination Network] attempted to get Dana’s medical records the day before her funeral, claiming that she wanted to see evidence that the baby really had pertussis (the medical name for whooping cough – for which there is no cure or treatment).
Despite repeated requests from Toni and Dave McCaffrey to leave them alone and stop using their baby’s death in the AVN’s false propaganda, Meryl Dorey continues to mention Dana in her attacks on doctors and anyone who supports vaccination.
The McCaffery’s new weekend interview paints a picture of how incredibly difficult this time must have been for them.
They have been accused of lying about the circumstances surrounding their daughter’s death; they have been told that by speaking publicly about how Dana died they have become part of a “conspiracy”.
The News Ltd report claims that AVN founder Meryl Dorey even went so far as to post propaganda from the Australian Vaccination Network on a memorial website established in Dana McCaffery’s name.