When Jane Elterman’s doctor told her to get the flu shot, she failed to do so. However, she found herself battling the flu that year for nearly two weeks.
Learning from her experience, the Carrollton resident got her flu shot the next year and now gets a shot every year. She said she hasn’t had the flu since. Now Elterman shares her story through the American Lung Association’s MyShot campaign.
The association recently launched the campaign in an effort to encourage those over 50 to get the flu shot. Association representatives said those over 50 are more likely to have one or more chronic health conditions such as lung disease, heart disease or diabetes and when combined with the flu. These conditions can become worse and lead to serious illness.
As a lung cancer survivor, Elterman was left open to the flu due to the damaging effect the cancer had on her immune system. Elterman is a C-FB ISD substitute teacher and spends much of her time around elementary age children. She said in order to continue what she loves to do, she needs to keep herself healthy and her immune system strong.
“Once your immune system is compromised like that, you are susceptible to everything,” she said. “Once you turn 50 you really need to tune in and get the flu shot.”
For Elterman, her involvement in the campaign is her way of showing her gratitude from surviving stage four lung cancer. She has been sharing her story through Facebook, said she feels her story is helping others like her understand the importance of getting the flu shot.
“When you go out in public — work, school or activities — you never know if the person sitting next to you might be sick,” Elterman said in her campaign bio. “Especially for people who are immunocompromised like me, that spread of disease can really hurt us.”