Erik Nanstiel wears his heart on his sleeve, and is a friend of mine on Facebook. He’s also practically a neighbor in Chicago, as he lives literally a few minutes away from our home we stay in when in Chicago.  Isn’t it ironic that we’ve never met face to face, despite being friends on “Facebook”. I hope to change that in the not so distant future.

Erik recently did a video reply to CNN “health correspondent” Elizabeth Cohen who did a rather cold insensitive video that “vaccines don’t cause autism” She then says it again louder as she says some people don’t seem to hear this well.  Her story was done as a direct response to my friend “Bobby Dee” (see our late night phone interview here)  who did an iReport about the CDC Whistleblower (the top scientist who admits the cover up in the vaccine/autism connection. CNN even admits that it was because of Bobby Dee’s iReport that they learned about the CDC scandal (seems CNN wasn’t doing their homework but Bobby Dee was doing it for them).

Vaccines Causing Autism Controversy

Now why did Erik do a response video  (along with countless others parents) to Cohen’s insensitive piece? Well, you see, Erik is the full time single parent for his teenage daughter Miranda, a severely non verbal autistic low functioning 15 year old child, turning sweet 16 in November.  For seven years, he took care of both Miranda and his wife, who had developed Multiple Sclerosis weeks after their daughter got her scheduled 15 month vaccines.  Previous to the vaccinations, she was a happy, perfectly developing, verbal, loving child, and was already saying Dada doodoo and all sorts of the usual talk of a happy baby her age.  Since the vaccinations she hasn’t uttered a syllable. Not a one.

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Erik told me today that the measles virus in the MMR is not as attenuated (genetically weakened) as they would have us believe. In an immune compromised person, like his wife (who was loaded with mercury, he explains), it is likely that she picked up the measles virus during a diaper change, and it was able to replicate in her gut, and just as with Miranda, it made it into her brain. It caused his wife lesions, triggering MS. Kids can be infectious after a measles vaccine for 3 weeks or so. Which is exactly how long it took for her mother’s MS to trigger.

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I have several thousand “friends” on Facebook, but there aren’t many whose page I keep up with like Erik’s. Some might find that odd, as we’ve never even met in person.  I think part of it is his infectious spirit because, despite having a pretty tough situation (some would think even dismal), Erik keeps a damn good attitude about it all. I don’t know if I keep my spirits up that well, and I haven’t got 99% of the problems he’s sorting through.

After 7 years of taking care of his wife and his severely autistic daughter Miranda full time, it was too much and Erik had to put his wife in an assisted living home, as she was unable to be cared for at home in her condition.  It’s obvious that it was an extremely difficult decision to make, but he couldn’t physically care for both (especially with his wife’s rapidly deteriorating condition).

Now Miranda’s mom lives in a nursing home (where her parents placed her as their choice), and sadly she is not competent. Erik still takes Miranda for visits, mainly for her mom in hopes it can benefit her.

Erik firmly believes that vaccines (or the injuries which they caused) have destroyed his family. It was terribly hard for him to divorce his wife, and her family had their own thoughts on her therapy. He really never got to interject alternative therapies for his wife’s MS, and obviously the traditional ones did not work and have failed her.

Despite all the tragedy in Erik’s life, he always looks for the good in everything.  He’s even helped create Avatalker to help other children like his.

Vaccines Causing Autism

Erik and Miranda

I go visit Erik’s Facebook page, and ask myself sometimes why the hell this guy is finding the silver lining on a crappy cold cloudy day in Chicago, and why I cannot pull myself out of my own funk — and I don’t have any of the serious stuff going on that he does. Erik said to me tonight that “Miranda’s love, purity, and joy literally keeps me alive”, and I believe him. Erik loves his daughter, never mind that she hasn’t uttered a single syllable to her daddy since those vaccines back in January of 2000, and takes care of her like few fathers or parents that I’ve met. He adores her, and has the most amazing photos done of her by one hell of a photographer friend. While he might not be rich with a huge cash flow, the man has a huge heart with more love than I’ve seen in most people, and a zest for life.

You see, I had a vaccine injury while living in the same neck of the woods (I’m also from Chicago), just three months after I was born, and it was also in January, just like Miranda. I had my vaccinations after my parents adopted me from the famous Cradle in Evanston Illinois. I had a cold, it was also cold outside (a bad combination), and I had a high fever too like Miranda (mine was 104). I ended up in the ER getting a spinal tap with two parents worried sick about their first child — their daughter. Just like Miranda’s parents were with their first born. My late uncle and godfather became a pioneer in the anti-vaccine movement in Chicago from the late 70’s on, literally writing the book on the dangers of immunizations — working and even living with Dr. Robert Mendelsohn (who did the forward to his book).  He dedicated his life to this cause, leaving a high paid attorney’s position at a top Chicago firm to help parents whose children were injured from vaccines. That was almost 40 years ago! Also thank you to my better half who has also been a crusader in the movement, and now runs the top natural health site in the world letting people know the truth about imperative issues like this.

I think part of the reason I look at Erik’s page so much is that I know I dodged a bullet. I know with a fever that high, with seizures, and doctors doing spinal taps on me in a straight jacket, while I wondered what kind of brain damage I could end up with — I am grateful to be alive and to be able to write this piece.  They say the vaccine injury had some lasting effects like ADHD. But I think I’m going to seek more to take Erik’s attitude of always looking on the bright side.

Erik tells me he hopes to remarry, and be able to have another child.  That is a wish of his.  I think if there’s anyone who deserves to find a true love, have another child, and rebuild his life and family it’s Erik.  I’m in his court and will continue to look at his page, which always helps me remember (if I’m in a sad mood or funk) to get over myself and have a better attitude like Erik.  The whole world could learn a valuable lesson from this giving, caring (and pretty damn funny!) father whose daughter has been the whole world for him and he for her.  In my eyes I see a hero, and I have the feeling even if Miranda doesn’t say it aloud? So does she.



Erin  is an animal lover, rescuer, writer  and long time green eco health nut. She’s worked in the natural health world and done volunteer work in the same arena for nearly 25 years. She has spent the last 5 years with her  better half who is a leader in the natural health movement.  You can follow her here on Facebook and subscribe to her newsletter if you please.