DENVER - The flu is reaching epidemic levels in Colorado, and because children and those with weakened immune systems are so much more susceptible to the illness, parents are encouraged to get their kids vaccinated now.
One of those leading the fight is Regina Booth, whose 17-year-old son died of the flu last year. Austin was a healthy, strong teenager who was active in basketball and football, and on Jan. 12, 2011, he woke up feeling sick..
Later that day, a coach sent him home from school at Rifle High.
"The thought was, if they get the flu, they're sick for a few days and they get over and life goes on. But it's not that way," said his mother.
What began as the flu, progressed to pneumonia. He also had MRSA, a contagious staph bacteria.
Five days later, he died.
"As a Mom you know want to do everything you can do to protect your kids. The things you worry about are driving. Things like that. You don't worry about your 17 year old healthy son and dying," said Booth.
What happened to her son - has prompted Regina Booth to become a crusader.
She's a member of the group Families Fighting Flu.
Her mission is to get children vaccinated.
"As a parent that loses their child the best you can is keep their name out there and feel like you do something what has happened to you. And that's my goal," said Booth.
A goal for good reason.
Experts say children are two to three times more likely to get the flu because their immune systems aren't fully developed.