Place of Residence: Arlington, VA

Sarah was a healthy four-week-old baby in December 2011 when she contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and was hospitalized. Sarah spent six days in the hospital and thankfully survived. Sarah’s family was familiar with RSV because her older sister, Ellie, had also been hospitalized with RSV when she was just one year old.

Sarah’s mother, Mary Lee, shares her family’s story of how RSV impacted their lives.


Place of Residence: Dewitt, NY

As a child, Jan saw firsthand the devastation of polio. At just six years old, she survived a polio epidemic during which 8 children in a classroom of 24 were diagnosed with paralytic polio. Three children died, including her twin brother. Jan was one of only two paralyzed children who made a full recovery. In April 1954, she was one of 1.8 million school children who participated in the Salk vaccine trial as a “Polio Pioneer.”

Jan shares how she lost her twin brother, Frankie, to polio at 6 years old and has gone on to become an international champion for vaccines.  


Place of Residence: Richmond, Texas

Josh loves sports, spending time with his family, and all things Disney World. He never imagined that COVID would impact his life and because he thought his risk was low, he didn’t get vaccinated. Yet in January 2021, the 43-year-old ended up hospitalized in need of a double lung transplant. After being hospitalized for four months, Josh thankfully survived to tell his story and he now wants others to know the importance of vaccination.

Josh shares the story of how he was hospitalized with COVID and ended up having a double lung transplant to save his life. 


Place of Residence: Suffolk, Virginia

Teresa was a healthy, artistic 10-year-old who loved to read, sew, draw, sing, and dance. She loved being a Junior Girl Scout and was very outgoing. She wasn’t high risk for COVID and hadn’t been vaccinated because in September 2021 it wasn’t yet approved for her age group. Sadly, Teresa lost her life to COVID in just a few short days. Her mother, Nicole – an elementary school teacher – shares her daughter’s story to inform other parents that vaccination is our best defense against COVID.

Teresa’s mother, Nicole, shares the story of losing her healthy, 10-year-old daughter to COVID on September 27, 2021. 

Dwight & Brenda

Place of Residence: McLeansboro, Illinois

Married for 54 years, Dwight and Brenda loved spending time with their family, especially their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Because they lived in a small town, they didn’t think COVID was a threat to them and decided not to get vaccinated. Sadly, they ended up hospitalized and lost their lives to COVID within one day of each other in August 2021.

Below in his own words, their son, Windell, shares the story of losing both of his parents to COVID-19. 


Place of Residence: Gainesville, Florida

In December 2020, Kristin was a healthy, 31-year-old nurse practitioner who cared for patients at her rural medical clinic. Although she worked in health care, she didn’t think she was at risk for severe COVID illness and was patiently awaiting her turn to get vaccinated. Her life changed drastically after spending 111 days in the hospital with COVID. Now Kristin has numerous ongoing medical issues but uses her expertise and experience to continue educating her patients about the importance of vaccination.

Kristin shares the story of how she almost lost her life to COVID.  


Place of Residence: Los Angeles, California

At 15 years old, Braden was described by his film teacher as “a unique spark of joy in this world”. Others knew him to be a kind soul, a true artist, and a compassionate friend. Braden fell ill with COVID-19 and suffered from multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (also known as MIS-C). After seeking medical attention, he was hospitalized with COVID-19, suffered numerous complications, and sadly lost his life on January 5, 2021. Braden was not vaccinated against COVID-19 because it had not yet been approved for his age group in December 2020.

His mother, Amanda, shares Braden’s story below in her own words.


Place of Residence: Superior, Colorado

Sarah received a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant and her daughter tested positive for COVID antibodies at four months old. Sarah wants others to know the benefits of COVID vaccination for pregnant people.

Below, Sarah shares her personal experience as a postpartum mother.


Place of Residence: Rockville, Maryland

Monica describes her 41-year-old daughter, Maria, as a bright light who makes this world a better place. She never imagined that COVID-19 would cause her daughter to be hospitalized for 130 days and almost lose her life. Now she wants to help inform others about the importance of vaccination, especially minority populations who may struggle with vaccine access and education.

Maria’s mother, Monica, shares the story of how her daughter almost lost her life to COVID.  



Place of Residence: North Bethesda, Maryland

At age 41, Maria was living her best life and enjoying an active lifestyle filled with work, friends, travel, and leisure activities. Her world abruptly changed when she was hospitalized with COVID for 130 days – 69 of which were spent on ECMO life support. Maria’s family was told many times that they should be prepared to lose her.

Now Maria has some lingering medical issues to deal with, but as a survivor she shares her story to help educate others about the potential dangers of COVID-19 and the importance of vaccination.

Maria shares the story of how she almost lost her life to COVID.