From World Asthma Day through Mother’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of moms who are fighting for clean air on behalf of their children. Today, meet Trisha and her three sons, Lincoln, Liam, and Logan.
This was written by Trisha Sheehan, Moms Clean Air Force’s National Field Manager:
Six years ago my family was exposed to the toxic chemical vinyl chloride, after a nearby train derailed spewing over 23,000 gallons of the toxin into the air we were breathing. My sons began to complain of watery eyes, burning throats, and head pain, and I felt dizzy, tired, and clumsy. It’s likely the cause of health issues that my 8 year old son, Liam, still faces — like the chronic nosebleeds that disrupt everyday fun like soccer games in the backyard with his brother.
This accident made me realize that you can’t buy clean air. While I did everything I could to protect my children from toxic chemicals in the products that I used on their skin and in the food that I fed them, I couldn’t buy them clean air. For that, we need policies and standards that put children’s health first. That’s why I decided to join with other moms and dads to advocate for our kids.
Last year, my youngest son Lincoln was born. Bringing a new life into the world only reinvigorated my desire to create a better, cleaner, and safer world for the next generation. We have to fight for clean air for our babies, because if we don’t, no one else will.
Having a new baby has reminded me of how important it is to protect every breath he takes. He needs clean air and protections from toxic chemicals in order to grow up healthy. Now, more than ever, he needs our united voices to advocate for his health and future.
Not only have I personally felt the urgency to take action that comes with new motherhood, I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the country to talk to other new and expecting moms about the ways that they too can change our world. It’s been truly inspiring to witness the intense love that moms have for their kids and the way it drives them to protect the air those little lungs breathe.
Moms Clean Air Force provides me with the tools to advocate for not only my children’s health, but the health and future of our more than 1 million members’ children too. Walking into a Senator’s office and showing him or her exactly who is being impacted (or protected) by the decisions they make every day makes me feel powerful.
In a time when I wake up every morning to news of yet another important protection being rolled back, I know that behind me are one million moms (and dads) fighting and speaking out in opposition to these dangerous clean air setbacks.