Catching Up with Soleil Moon Frye: Legendary Actress Talks Motherhood, Health Advocacy and More
Soleil Moon Frye is more than an actress. She’s an Icon, a mom, and a champion.
You know her as ‘the face of a generation’ that inspired young girls and gave them the freedom to be themselves from the popular 1980’s sitcom, Punky Brewster. Your kids know her unmistakable voice as one of the original cast members of the Disney channel’s 2001-2005 hit series, The Proud Family—who returned for The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, which is now airing weekly on Disney+. Soleil is the voice of Zoey, who is one of Penny Proud’s best friends. For Soleil, there was no hesitation in coming back to the world of The Proud Family and playing Zoey again.
On the heels of her recent Kid90 documentary and reconnection to her teen-self, Soleil is also raising her own teens, including her oldest daughter, Poet, who just turned 16. As she prepares for her next phase of growing up, Poet is thinking about her career aspirations and potential plans for college and independence.
May is a time when many families are holding their breath as their teens make college decisions and prepare for their next big milestone. Just like many of her fans, Soleil’s children are nearing the age of independence and it is her mission to help set them up for a healthy future.
That’s why Soleil is thrilled to work with GSK as a spokesperson for the second year of its public health awareness campaign, “Ask2BSure,” aimed to raise awareness among parents of teens and young adults about meningitis B vaccination.
“As a mom of four, I am a researcher and a questioner. I want to be informed, especially when it comes to my children’s health,” said Soleil. “I ask their pediatrician a lot of questions, so I was surprised when I only recently learned about Meningitis B. As parents, we want to do everything we can to help protect our children.”
Some facts about meningitis:
- It is an uncommon, but serious illness that can cause life-threatening complications, or even death.[i][i] Early symptoms of meningitis may be similar to those of the flu but can progress quickly and could be fatal.[ii][ii] [iii][iii]
- Up to 1 in 5 meningitis survivors suffer long-term consequences, such as brain damage, amputations, hearing loss and nervous system problems.i Among those who contract meningitis, 1 in 10 will die, despite treatment, sometimes in as little as 24 hours.ii iii
- While many teens or young adult may have received meningitis vaccination for groups A, C, W, and Y when they were younger, there is a separate type of vaccination specifically for meningitis B—that they may miss.
- Recent CDC data shows 7 out of 10 of 17-year-olds in the US did not receive even one dose of meningitis B vaccination in 2020. [iv][iv]
- While many colleges require vaccination for meningitis A, C. W, and Y, most colleges do not require the meningitis B vaccination. 12
- Although vaccination may not protect all recipients, it is the best way to help prevent meningitis B according to CDC.[v][v]
With Poet now vaccinated, she’s on a mission to educate and empower fellow parents to start important discussions with their children’s healthcare providers about this vaccination that many teens may miss, and one that could help protect them against a potentially life-threatening disease.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Soleil to discuss all things motherhood – including protecting kids health during their teen years. She also shared the lessons and emotions she’s experiencing as she raises a teen and prepares her daughter for college, her health advocacy work, and more. Her childhood friend, Pediatrician and GSK spokesperson Dr. Shakha Gillin joined her with more about vaccination to help prevent Meningitis B.
For more information visit Ask2BSure.com
ABOUT OUR GUESTS
Soleil Moon Frye is an actress, director, producer, screenwriter and documentarian. She began her career as a child actor at the age of two. When she was seven, Frye won the role of Penelope “Punky” Brewster in the NBC sitcom Punky Brewster which aired throughout the 80s. The inspiring series captured audiences and made Soleil a role model to young girls across the nation by her character’s values of individuality, resilience, and unconditional love. The doting mother of four currently stars in the Disney animated series reboot The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder on Disney+.
Dr. Shakha Gillin is a pediatrician with a special interest in preventative medicine, promoting healthy and active lifestyles for children. She was recognized by San Diego Magazine as a “Top Doctor” from 2006 through 2021, and as “Best Pediatrician” by Ranch and Coast.
Dr. Gillin is a contributing author for the American Academy of Pediatrics HealthyChildren.org and CrossFit.com. She lives in Del Mar, California, with her husband Scott, a pediatric anesthesiologist at Rady Children’s Hospital, and their son Taj.
[vi][i] National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2019. 2020; 69(33). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6933-H.pdf. Reviewed August 21, 2020. Accessed April 2021.
[vii][ii] Pelton SI. Meningococcal disease awareness: clinical and epidemiological factors affecting prevention and management in adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2010;46:S9-S15
[viii][iii] Meningococcal Disease: Signs and Symptoms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html. Updated June 2017. Accessed April 2021.
[ix][iv] National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2019. 2020; 69(33). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6933-H.pdf. Reviewed August 21, 2020. Accessed November 2020.
[x][v] Meningococcal disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/prevention.html. Updated March 28, 2017. Accessed November 2020.