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Maurine Meleck: One Courageous Autism Grandmother

Maurine PodiumBy Anne Dachel
The one undeniable fact about the autism epidemic is that it's grossly under-reported in the media. Oh sure, news stories about autism are everywhere, but they seem to be saying the same thing: the U.S. is adjusting well to having hundreds of thousands of disabled children everywhere. Articles almost never call autism a crisis. Reporters seem to be more interested in pretending that an epidemic of children on the spectrum is nothing to worry about. Two decades of health officials and medical experts with no answers is acceptable. Coverage of the controversy over vaccines and autism is hopelessly one-sided and phony. But the public hasn't been convinced by all the misinformation. Too many people are talking about THEIR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. One of these folks is my friend, Maurine Meleck, who lives in North Augusta, SC. She has cared for her 16 year old autistic grandson, Joshua, for over 10 years. She's worked to recover him through biomedical treatments and supplements. She also an incredible advocate for the truth.
For thirteen years she's worn lots of T-shirts that she's gotten at conferences and rallies. She said she's actually thinking of sewing them into one big blanket.
Some of the messages on the shirts are very subtle, others not so much. Her first shirt was from Unlocking Autism back in 2000. This year, after attending Autism One in Chicago and seeing hundreds of parents, Maurine got the idea of making her own T-shirt to start a conversation about the link to vaccines.

Maurine TShe designed a shirt with a statement she says is "as obvious as a red stop light." She painted on a simple 3 words, "VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM." She often wears the shirt in public.
Maurine wears her shirt at the grocery store, the library, everywhere she goes. She's even worn it at Joshua's school!

The majority of the responses have been positive. She said that those who strongly disagreed probably chose not to confront her. A few have made comments such as, "You're endangering children," or "You are so wrong." She's surprised that lots of people still don't know there is a controversy . They say things to her like, "I didn't know that," and "You mean to tell me that vaccines can do that?" She finds it very gratifying to be able to enlighten others.
One mom with two children told her, "Oh, I know that. Neither of my children have ever been vaccinated and they're never sick."
Maurine never preaches. She gives people websites where they can educate themselves and make better choices.
One day, a young man working at Earth Fare serving burger saw her shirt and said, " I like your shirt. Last year during my senior year in high school another student did his senior project on the dangers of vaccines. When he finished with his power point, the whole class gave him a standing ovation and the teacher remarked that it was the best paper she'd had in class."
Just the other day, another young man stopped her in a department store to say that he totally agreed with the comment on her shirt. He said he would never get another vaccine because he knew what side effects were like.
Encounters with the older generation usually didn't come off so lightly. Their ideas about vaccines are more "old school" and require a bit more patience on her part. One elderly woman came up to her and commented, "Vaccines saved us from terrible diseases like smallpox and polio."
These kinds of comments are more difficult to respond to, but she tries to answer with kindness and accurate information without inciting anger.
Maurine continues her message, whether she's wearing her shirt or not. The other day, at her optician's office, she noticed an obviously pregnant woman. Very casually, Maurine started a conversation with her. After some pleasantries, Maurine said, "I'm just going to say this one time and then I'm going to close my mouth. Educate, before you vaccinate."

The woman relied, "Oh, we are, we are."

A couple of minutes later woman asked, "What do you think?"
Maurine answered, "I had two vaccine-injured grandchildren, so you can guess what I think."
The lady said, "Be more specific."
Maurine said, "If we had to do it again, we wouldn't vaccinate at all." She gave the mom-to-be the name of Dr. Sears' book.
The mom-to-be then asked, "How you avoid them?"
Maurine told her that in South Carolina they have a religious exemption from vaccinations and she explained how she could do it.
This grandmother also has a bumper sticker with her message. On her front and back bumpers are stickers she got from Bob Catalano that say, "Say No To Forced Vaccinations." Recently she came out of the supermarket and found a woman copying the website from the sticker. They ended up talking for a half hour. The woman said she was a nurse at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and that all health employees there were being forced to take the yearly flu vaccine. She already knew of its danger and wanted to opt out, but didn't know how. As luck would have it, Maurine was taking a call from me at the time on her cell phone. She handed her phone to the nurse and I gave her some websites that would be good sources of information.
The impact of Maurine's message goes beyond the relatively small number of people who actually talk to her. Many more folks have read the words and thought about them. I'm sure they reflect on them later and maybe even research things for themselves.
Finally, Maurine is an excellent role model for anyone who wants to somehow counter the massive cover-up surrounding the damage being done to a generation of children. It's not expensive to do and it doesn't take a lot of time. She's shown us the power an individual can have in their own community.


Maurine Meleck

To add insult to injury- Dr. Johnson--it is passed, not past.


Dr Phil Johnson;
One hopes you aren't a doctor, since if that was the case, the cruelty of mocking a grandmother who helps care for two disabled children is a little worrying..
I'm not sure who you thought you would be impressing with such a comment?
You might want to think a little before you post next time.

Teresa Conrick

Like Kim, I am fortunate to know Maurine as both advocate and friend. This mean and poorly spelled comment from Dr. Phil Johnson is ignorant. If you are truly a doctor, your comment shows us how uneducated some in the medical field are regarding autism. It also shows how your tactic in defending vaccines comes down to childish behavior. We win in both science and truth.

Stagmom for Dr. Phil

I don't often respond to comments - instead letting the cruelty and lack of empathy toward the vaccine injury community speak for itself. And watching other AofA commenters share their reviews. However, Maurine is a dear friend of ours, a Grandmother who has dedicated her life to her grandson and frankly, she deserves better than this vicious comment from "Dr. Phil Johnson." Strange coincidence that there is a doctor by the same name at a large teaching hospital whose most famous doctor is the leader of vaccine injury denial and complete lack of concern for our loved ones. Let's hope it's some skeptic trying to be cute. And call it an epic FAIL regardless.

Dr. Phil Johnson

Based on an analysis of Maurine's comments one can only conclude that autism is a genetic defect past maternally.


I love Maureen's staying power, an example to us all!

We should organise a single day globally where we all wear the T-shirt and march to our Government HQ. Make the single heroic effort of Maureen's into a community effort to make an even bigger impact. Maureen alone will have saved countless people from vaccines and made many more question their actions educate themselves.

To make a bigger impact we should build on Maureen's incredible work and reach out even further.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you for such tireless efforts in reaching out with a message so many need to know.


Maurine is a wonderful grandma, a tireless advocate, a wise researcher and a sage wit, at that. I want to be her when I grow up!

Carter's Daddy

I wish Carter's grandmothers were like that!
His mother is like that but she's too shy to wear anything with a message. I would do it though. When Carter was a lot smaller, I made him a T shirt that said:
and went out with that.

Karen Kain

Maurine is an earth angel! I want a shirt:) Thanks Anne.


This example of personal courage and initiative is very moving. I guess one person can make a difference.


If there were something like an AIDS quilt for autistic kids, I wonder how big it would be.


As autism grandparents go Maurine ROCKS!!! Known her for years and she has tirelessly done the day to day caring for her grandson! She is a special gem I am lucky to call my friend! Not only does she advocate for all kids she is also a second mom to many of us. Thank you Maurine ! Love you!

Teresa Conrick

Maurine is a hero! She does not have an easy life - like so many of us, her grandson is very ill - "autism" they call it but the reality is he suffers from chronic infections and an immune system that does not work right.

She is battling many issues yet never gives up hope, is supportive to all of us in so many ways and still uses every ounce of a day to educate and help prevent other children from vaccine injuries.

So glad that we can celebrate having her in our camp. Love you, Maurine!

Jim Thompson


While most doctors, legislators, and regulators are lost in the darkness of Pharma propaganda, you shine a light for families. Thank you.

Bob Moffitt

We have often heard the term "warrior moms" .. that defines the courage of mothers .. who .. in spite of a full decade of bitter opposition from public health officials, media, pediatricians, etc .. have proven themselves unrelenting in their pursuit of the TRUTH about what happened to their children after receiving vaccines.

Murine deserves a special term .. "warrior grandma" .. who has voluntarily served in the trenches alongside those "warrior moms" .. courageously fighting for the same cause.

As a grandparent myself .. I say God Bless Murine for all she has done and continues to do for those of us .. such as myself .. who lack the personal courage it requires to wear the tee shirt Murine proudly wears.


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