Lynsay Frye is a leader across many communities in West Virginia. She holds leadership positions with various groups and councils such as the Disability Council and the Independent Living Council. But it’s her leadership in simply setting the example that is just as impactful.
“When the pandemic started, I couldn’t stay with my parents because my mom worked in healthcare and it wasn’t safe for us to stay together,” Lynsay explained.
Lynsay stayed with her grandmother for a couple of months.
Then, Lynsay made an important decision to keep herself, her family, and the community safe. She got the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The reason why I thought it was important was because I have a disability and with my disability, my immune system is really low, so I could get sick. I got the COVID-19 vaccine to save my life,” said Lynsay, 33.
Lynsay joined The Arc’s health program in participating in a project focusing on COVID-19 vaccine outreach and public education. The program received a subgrant from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), as part of a grant AUCD received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Arc worked with The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley in West Virginia, The Arc of Arizona, The Arc of Central Alabama, and The Arc of Indiana, and to collaborate on the development of local radio public service announcements (PSAs) airing in certain markets in those states.
“People like me, with a disability, are at a greater risk of death from COVID-19,” Lynsay said. “But the vaccine made things better. We could go about our lives without so much fear. I felt more secure about my own health and safety, and the health and safety of everyone around me.”
Lynsay still takes proper safety precautions like wearing a mask. She encourages others to wear masks and to wear them properly.
“Let’s not look back now. Give the vaccine a chance,” she said.
Now, Lynsay is back to many of her routine activities and the job she loves at her church.