Volunteer Spotlight: Shania Hunt
Tell us about your professional/educational background.
Before becoming a mother, I went to school and got my CNA license and worked in healthcare for 4 years. Once I became a mom, I decided to stay home and spend every day with my babies. I now advocate for breastfeeding, breastfeeding rights and empowering nursing mothers. I have been breastfeeding for almost five years straight and I couldn't imagine a more amazing bond between my kids and me.
What makes the National CMV Foundation's mission powerful for you?
My beautiful son, Maverick, is my third born child who was born with cCMV. I unfortunately was never educated on CMV. Knowing what I know now, preventing the virus is very easy. I want to advocate, educate, and create awareness for CMV so other families don't have to go through the pain my family and other CMV families have had to face.
What made you decide to get more involved with the National CMV Foundation, as a Community Alliance Chair?
As a stay-at-home mama, I have a lot of time to focus on my kids. From the moment I discovered my son had CMV, I knew I wanted to advocate and educate my friends, family, social media and really anyone who wanted to listen. Becoming a chair member for my state allows me to do that. It allows me to meet new moms who have experienced the same things I have. It allows me to go places and shine light on my son.
In your role as CMV Community Alliance Chair, what goals have you set for 2023?
I have made a T-shirt promoting CMV awareness which I am super excited about. I also plan on doing a 5K in the summer. However, while waiting for warmer weather, my goal is to speak at as many conferences as possible and educate as many people as I can.
What does success look like to you?
Success is making sure my children are happy and healthy. I never pictured being a disability mom, but I'm here rocking it the best I can to show my son it's okay to be different.
What motivates you?
Seeing the big smile my son gives me every time I look at him. Maverick shines so much light on everyone he encounters.
My boyfriend, who supports every decision I make along the way.
My other two children, Aliannah and Ezra, who have stood by my side through everything, making sure my dark days turn bright.
As a volunteer leader, what advice do you have for people who want to work on CMV advocacy, but don’t know where to start?
Don't be afraid!! You have a voice, and it deserves to be heard. Be the voice for babies who don't have one. There are so many amazing people waiting to help you every step of the way. All it takes is one Facebook post, one flyer, one person to make a difference.
“Once you become fearless, Life becomes limitless.”
What do you like most about living in West Virginia?
West Virginia Mountains, pretty leaves, pepperoni rolls, and wonderful small-town people.
You're happiest when?
I'm at home with my boyfriend while we watch our three beautiful children play together outside and enjoy the peace and presence of our happy family.
Category: Advocacy, Awareness, "Fueling Our Mission", "Parent Perspective"