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Kaitlyn Urenda-Culpepper lost her mother in July due to COVID-19. She has turned her grief into advocacy in hopes others will not experience the same loss.

TEXAS, USA — The first coronavirus case in Texas was detected on March 4, 2022 in Fort Bend,  days later the World Health Organization would declare COVID-19 a pandemic. 

Nearly a year later, millions have been impacted, and in February 2022 the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths.

Kaitlyn Urenda-Culpepper lost her mother, Genevieve Martinez, due COVID-19 in July. She along with members of Marked by COVID, presented resolutions to their local, state and federal officials to proclaim March 1 as “COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day.” 

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s office told WFAA that a proclamation will be issued on March 1, marking it COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day.

“COVID-19 has taken the lives of far too many Texans and the impact of each loss is devastating to our state and all their loved ones,” U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) said. “Kaitlyn’s ability to turn her pain into purpose is inspiring and a reminder we must all do our part to save lives by stopping the spread of this virus.”

The bill was introduced on Feb. 25 in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona. 

The 29-year-old is one of over 7,000 members from across the country of Marked by COVID, a Facebook page turned into a non-profit advocacy group. The organization hosts advocacy trainings, meet and greets and has developed a “Five R” policy platform being presented to elected officials at the federal, state and local level. 

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