Salma Hayek, Sierra Leone, Pampers & a Pickpocketer

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek with kids who helped raise money for the cause.

I was psyched to be invited to the Salma Hayek One Pack = One Vaccine press conference today. Maybe you caught her segment this morning on the Today Show. Anyway, she met with us mommy bloggers and press folks this afternoon to talk about her recent heartbreaking and inspiring trip to Sierra Leone.

I got to sit in the front row, and I swear Salma Hayek looked at me and smiled. Or maybe she had a rock in her eye.

Salma was in Sierra Leone last fall with the good people from UNICEF and Pampers Diapers. Together, they're trying to bring tetanus vaccines to this and other developing countries. Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT)--often contracted from sharp instruments during home births--kills up to 21 percent of all infants in Sierra Leone.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

Tetanus--a bacteria that produces extremely potent toxins that attack the nervous system--is no longer a threat in the United States and other fortunate nations because we have easy access to this cheap vaccine. It costs 7 cents per shot.

And we can all help by buying one pack of Pampers with the UNICEF logo on it. Pampers will donate one vaccine for every purchase.

But more than that, Salma met women and saw clinics in Sierra Leone that affected her deeply. See more about her trip tonight on ABC's Nightline at 11:35 p.m. EDT. I even read that Salma Hayek was so upset by a malnourished child that she gave him her breast. At that time, she was still nursing her toddler, Valentina.

This is the second year for the Pampers/UNICEF program, a wonderful cause to end women's and children's suffering. I was feeling Salma's humanitarian spirit. I got so into her stories from Sierra Leone that I finally tore my eyes away from her amazingly beautiful and dangerous 5-inch stiletto boots with steel toes. She was able to walk normally in those things.

I was feeling all zen and thankful and happy--and full of free chocolate chip cookies--on my way home. And that's when a pickpocketer right outside on Gold Street in downtown Manhattan started fumbling around with my gigantic bag. In a gut reaction that surprised even me, I turned around and punched him. He said, "Lady, I wasn't messing with you," and ran off. I think this poor, unskilled pickpocketer was like 15 years old.

Not one to be easily shaken, I'm still psyched that I kind of got to meet Salma Hayek today while learning more about this campaign. I also feel good that I have bought a lot of Pampers in the last 17 months. My baby boy's nasty, stinking butt might have saved a child out there somewhere.

And I still swear she smiled at me.

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