My fifth birthday.

Photo courtesy of the Jude Makulec photo archives.

Birthday parties from my younger years all blend together a bit. As a summer birthday & as a kid who loved to swim, they usually involved being outdoors at a pool, unless the weather didn’t cooperate. I remember solid ice cream cakes from Baskin Robbins, big groups of friends, my parents renting out entire swimming pools for my delight, and other happy moments.

I imagine my fifth birthday wasn’t too far off from those memories. I had my adorable little grin, and was probably meandering about quite delighted with simple things like a glass of lemonade and seeing my friends (plus presents…what kid didn’t love birthday presents?). For many children around the world though, a fifth birthday is a day they never see. Of those who never reach five years of age, 41% die within their first 28 days.

If you were fortunate enough to be born in a country, like the US, where reaching your fifth was less a question than an assumption, and believe that ending preventable child deaths should be a priority for us as a global society, please take the time to dig out an old photo of you at around five years of age, and share it on the #5thbday campaign site along with a birthday wish.

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