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A Mother’s Plea To The First Lady

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON (CBS 11) – The mother of a teen battling the effects of the West Nile Virus, Ebonie Conner, said she may soon have the chance to change people’s perceptions about the virus.

“We are the face of West Nile,” Conner said. “So, tell our story so people know its about personal responsibility. Because a city can only do so much.”

Ebonie Conner said her crusade to warn people about the crushing effects of the West Nile Virus are starting to pay off.

Conner said the Dallas County Health Department may use her as a spokesperson to tell people about her daughter Jordan’s ongoing battle with the virus and how its brought her to the brink of financial ruin.

“People think West Nile, or identify it with, a mosquito bite,” Conner said. “Not brain infection and benign intracranial hypertension and meningitis and encephalitis and on the brink of death and affecting every part of your life.”

To spread her message beyond Texas, Conner opened up her computer and started to write a mother-to-mother letter.

“Dear Mrs. Obama,” Conner read from her computer screen. “As we approach Mother’s Day I want to express my gratitude to you being impeccable in managing and modeling the multiple roles of a woman. Particularly the role known as mom.”

Why write Michelle Obama?

“Maybe she will help spread the word — until we have a vaccination — to be mindful of West Nile, Conner said.

Conner hopes the First Lady will understand her pain by telling how drastically different this mother’s day is from last year’s.

Conner read more of the letter about this Mother’s Day in a quivering voice with tears rolling down her face:

“And even more significant because my vibrant teenage daughter almost died last year as a result of a single mosquito bite infecting her with West Nile. There are no words to describe the fear of the prospect of your child dying.”

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