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AUSTIN, Texas — Georgia Moore was diagnosed with leukemia the day after her 10th birthday. The fourth-grader began an intense chemotherapy regimen, which left her immune system vulnerable and kept her from attending her small, private Montessori school here.

But her younger sister Ivy was in kindergarten at the same school, where a handful of families opted out of vaccinating their children. That meant 6-year-old Ivy might bring home germs that could pose a risk to Georgia.

“She would go to school, come home and immediately we’d put clothes in the washer to keep a healthy environment,” the girls’ mother, Courtney Moore, said of the family’s after-school routine.

The Moores’ vigilance paid off. Georgia, now 16, had very few hospitalizations during the course of her treatment and is now cancer-free and five years out of treatment. But Georgia’s battle against cancer made Courtney Moore a vocal advocate for immunizations in Texas — where an increasing number of parents are opting against vaccinating their children, and data about the number of unvaccinated kids in individual public schools is not available.

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Image: via KHN courtesy of the Moore family

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