One day in late April 2016, Leo’s friend Michael McDonald from UVic had left a message on the phone.
I called him back and he told me a new program for the quadrivalent vaccine Menactra had just been adopted by the BC Government. This is the vaccine that would have prevented Leo’s painful passing. All the grade 9 school age children can now get this vaccine free of charge.
Michael happened to be an intern at the BC Legislature at the time and he had heard the announcement that morning. Otherwise, I would have had no way of finding out. Here’s what he wrote to me later that day:
As you’ve no doubt seen, the announcement that we’ve been hoping for and working towards has finally come to fruition. I was crying in the Chamber today as your MLA read the statement mentioning Leo Chan and all the others who’ve been lost to meningitis. I could feel Leo beaming and his warmth holding me and the entire Chamber up. It was a profoundly special moment. I’ve made a status to raise awareness about the announcement and all that you folks have done. My heart is full even as my tears fall. There are no words to describe this victory and all that Leo has done to protect youth in this province.
It was bittersweet. Leo had paid it forward with his human life.
I felt Leo’s loving and powerful presence filling up the space all around me. “Mom, I am here with you.”
Thank you, Leo.
– Mabel Chan