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Michigan COVID Memorial helping families deal with loss of loved ones to COVID

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Posted at 10:01 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 22:01:40-05

LANSING, Mich. — Since losing her 42-year-old son Freddy Garza to COVID-19 not even five months ago, Laura Canfield has used her grief to create a memorial in Michigan to honor loved ones lost to the virus.

Laura Canfield and her son Freddy Garza

“There’s been a lot of lives here that have been lost,” Canfield said. “We want to honor them and let others honor their loved ones.”

Laura; Freddy’s wife, Cheryl Garza; and his twin brother, George Garza, started the memorial less than 2 months ago. They’re calling it the Michigan COVID Memorial.

Already they’ve hung up more than 50 hearts with names of people who died from COVID in the Lansing Mall and the Westwood Mall in Jackson.

“Our goal was to make sure people were recognized, families were recognized, and to let people know that the people who died aren’t just a number,” Cheryl Garza said.

More than 500 people have taken an interest in the project on social media and hope that they, too can get a heart with a loved one's name on it. And for the people who have gotten a heart made, the experience is like no other.

“It’s an honor for us, the family, knowing that someone is remembering them,” said Gloria Jordan, who lost her husband to COVID-19.

“I was kind of happy that we could do that and put my dad’s name out there, so that he would be remembered and noticed by other people,” said Aaron Andrews.

As each heart is hung with love, Freddy Garza’s family is thanking him for the motivation.

“We did something to honor him and it got so much bigger and we’re going to run with it,” George Garza said.

If you would like to have a heart made for a loved one or donate to the cause, click here.