Salma Hayak, Sierra Leone, Pampers & a Pickpocketer

Salma1.jpgAs I wrote on my Healthy Living page for CafeMom (my day job that pays for MontclairKids), I was psyched to be invited to the Salma Hayek One Pack = One
Vaccine
press conference yesterday. Maybe you caught her segment on the Today Show. Anyway, she met with us mommy bloggers and
press folks to talk about her recent heartbreaking and
inspiring trip to Sierra Leone.

I got to sit in the front row, and I swear Salma Hayek looked at me and smiled. Or maybe she had a rock in her eye.

Salma was in Sierra Leone
last fall with the good people from UNICEF and Pampers Diapers.
Together, they’re trying to bring tetanus vaccines to this and other
developing countries. Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT)–often
contracted from sharp instruments during home births–kills up to 21
percent of all infants in Sierra Leone.


Salma2.jpg

Tetanus–a bacteria
that produces extremely potent toxins that attack the nervous
system–is no longer a threat in the United States and other fortunate
nations because we have easy access to this cheap vaccine. It costs 7
cents per shot.

And
we can all help by buying one pack of Pampers with the UNICEF logo on
it. Pampers will donate one vaccine for every purchase.

But more
than that, Salma met women and saw clinics in Sierra Leone that
affected her deeply. See more about her trip tonight on ABC’s Nightline
at 11:35 p.m. EDT. I even read that Salma Hayek was so upset by a
malnourished child that she gave him her breast. At that time, she was still nursing her toddler, Valentina.

This
is the second year for the Pampers/UNICEF program, a wonderful cause to
end women’s and children’s suffering. I was feeling Salma’s
humanitarian spirit. I got so into her stories from Sierra Leone that I
finally tore my eyes away from her amazingly beautiful and dangerous
5-inch stiletto boots with steel toes. She was able to walk normally in
those things.

I was feeling all zen and thankful and
happy–and full of free chocolate chip cookies–on my way home. And
that’s when a pickpocketer right outside on Gold Street in downtown
Manhattan started fumbling around with my gigantic bag. In a gut
reaction that surprised even me, I turned around and punched him. He
said, “Lady, I wasn’t messing with you,” and ran off. I think this
poor, unskilled pickpocketer was like 15 years old.

Not one to be
easily shaken, I’m still psyched that I kind of got to meet Salma Hayek
today while learning more about this campaign. I also feel good that I
have bought a lot of Pampers in the last 17 months. My baby boy’s
nasty, stinking butt might have saved a child out there somewhere.

And I still swear she smiled at me.

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