Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Because of a tampon

November 28th, 2011 by Chris Bobel

Photo of Amy Rae Elifritz used with permission.

Amy Rae Elifritz was 20 when she died of tampon-related Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) on June 13, 2010.

Take a moment to reckon with this.

Because of a tampon.

Her remarkable mother, Lisa Elifritz founded a not for profit You ARE Loved (ARE=Amy Rae Elifritz). The organization’s mission centers on “raising awareness of tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and providing factual information about menstruation.”

YAL is doing some creative outreach using social media. They launched a blog project this year to spread TSS awareness throughout the blogosphere, and they are doing more general menstrual education, too. For instance, their monthly “Tweet Chats”  touch on a range of related issues. November’s chat explored menstrual care options and December’s upcoming chat is about “Period(ic)Stories”.

Thanks to Lisa Elifritz, Amy’s too-short life is much bigger than her 20 years. Lisa and her collaborators are transforming an avoidable tragedy into social action that can literally save lives.

Because no one should die because of a tampon in 2010.

2 responses to “Because of a tampon”

  1. Maggy says:

    I was 12 when many Americans learned about toxic shock syndrome. My father actually worked at the plant where the now discontinued Rely tampons were made. Hearing about the horrifying effects of TSS (including death) has always stuck with me. I am grateful to Amy’s mother for using this tragedy to teach girls and women about TSS. I never hear people talking about it and until recently, did not know that women were still getting it.

  2. Chris Bobel says:

    Glad you wrote, Maggy. Wow. You’ve got history with this TSS! Did your Dad talk about the recall? Such a dark period in the femcare industry, but as you point out, the lights still aren’t on.

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.