Cancer affected person, respiratory therapist claim $50Ok in MI Shot to Win lottery
A respiratory therapist and cancer patient are among the youngest group of Michigan residents to win $ 50,000 each in the state’s MI Shot to Win giveaway.
State officials announced the six newest winners of the COVID-19 vaccine lottery on Wednesday, including residents from Oakland County, western Michigan, Thumb and Upper Peninsula.
Debbie Cameron from Port Huron, Brian Louissa from West Bloomfield, Diedre Malloy from Kinchloe, Joshua Long and Brianna Hrejsa, both from Grand Rapids, and Joel Cotton from South Lyon were selected. Everyone received COVID-19 vaccines in July, officials noted during a news conference on Wednesday chaired by former Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who is now with the Small Business Association of Michigan.
Malloy, from Kinchloe in the Upper Peninsula, was vaccinated on July 20 and said she planned to get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier but postponed it after she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December.
Malloy said she was cleared to be shot in July.
The 66-year-old travels to Traverse City for treatment, which she describes as a “financial burden” for her family. Winning the vaccination lottery was “a blessing,” she said.
“Winning that was real sunshine,” she said. “I see a light at the end of a tunnel.”
She warned residents that the virus “won’t go away” and that COVID-19 is serious, especially for people like her who have other medical difficulties.
“If I had got this virus, it would have killed me,” she added.
The competition started on July 1st and ended on July 30th. 2.4 million Michigan residents entered to win the cash lottery and 160,000 students hoped to win the college scholarship competition, according to Kerry Ebersole Singh, director of the Protect Michigan Commission.
Cameron, the first winner announced on Wednesday, was shot on July 14th during a community vaccination campaign. She stated that seeing what happened to COVID patients led them to get vaccinated.
Louissa said he was vaccinated on July 19 after talking to his daughter, who is starting a family and who didn’t want him to get sick again. Louissa noted that he “went through a really bad time” when he contracted COVID in November 2020.
He advised people to consult their doctors to see if this is the right step for them. Cotton is a father of young children and the thought of his three daughters led him to have the injection on July 22nd.
“I wanted to protect myself, my family and my community,” he said.
Loussia encouraged the Michigandans to “play their part” and follow the COVID protocols, including considering vaccination.
Hrejsa, a respiratory therapist at Mission Point Health Services in Greenville, was the final winner, announced on Wednesday and attended the press conference to explain how she overcame hesitation about the vaccine. She said she would wait for the shot to be approved by the FDA. However, when she was working directly with patients and an immunocompromised worker, she felt the need to do more research and eventually decided to get the injection in July.
“I’m tired of worrying about getting sick,” she said. “I look forward to going back to festivals and concerts with my friends.”
Singh said nine scholarship winners and the remaining $ 50,000 winners will be announced next Wednesday, August 11th.
Calley, who announced the winners on Wednesday, said it was getting harder to convince the shrinking group of unvaccinated residents to get the injection.
“All we can do is move an inch,” he said. “I’m more impressed with 40,000 shots last week than 400,000 in May.”
64% of Michigandans received their first dose of the vaccine, Singh said.
28,000 people were vaccinated in the first week of the lottery, while 41,000 were vaccinated in the last week.