“Our duties and responsibilities do not end until there are no more cases of the coronavirus on the Navajo Nation. Wanting and hoping this pandemic to end is one of my motivations to keep doing my job every day. My Diné people, who I consider my family, colleagues, and friends, inspire me to keep pressing forward when I feel weary and when the challenges seem overpowering and impossible.”
Serving as a frontline worker requires Cheryl and her team to spend many hours traveling to patients’ homes, and many residents live within the rural areas of the Navajo Nation. For example, many patients live many miles off the main highways, and the only access to their homes is through rough dirt roads. She and her team delivers to approximately 13 to 15 homes per day. Once checking in at the office in the morning, Cheryl prepares to leave for the field. Her unit, on average, loads enough boxes of dry food, produce, bags of pet food, hygiene kits, and water cases into the company truck to deliver to COVID-19 and high-risk patients. She offers these essential items throughout Western Navajo Agency encompassing about 9,000 square miles, and a population of 36,737.
Cheryl had the opportunity to meet the world-renowned celebrity Sean Penn, the founder of the Community Organized Relief Effort Foundation (CORE Foundation). The CORE Foundation responds to the needs of the most vulnerable populations during a disaster, focusing on holistic and sustainable solutions to the community they serve.