My name is Decontee Kofa Sawyer, and I am the founder and Executive Director of the Kofa Foundation. The Kofa Foundation aims to assist with such things as mental health counseling, emergency funding, awareness, and educational outreach to survivors and surviving family members of individuals who lost their lives to an infectious viruses/disease like, but not limited to, Ebola, Yellow Fever, and HIV/AIDS. My husband Patrick Oliver Sawyer was the first American to die from Ebola. My three daughters Ava (6), Mia (5), Bella (18mos), and I know all too well the implications of losing a loved one in this manner. I felt I was being hit by a ton of bricks when I heard Patrick had Ebola. And those bricks knocked me over the very next day when I heard he died. It happened so fast that I didn’t have the time to process it all.
I cried many nights thinking about how our three little girls would never get the chance to grow up knowing their father. The grieving process of surviving family members is heightened if their loved one was the bread winner of the family. These are people just like my daughters and me. We at the Kofa Foundation want to make sure that they are not left behind. Most importantly, during times when they may feel ostracized and lonely, we want them to know that it is not their fault, and they are not alone. We aim to assist surviving family members on their journey from being a victim, to a survivor, to a thriver and we ask that you join us on that journey. Thank you.
Decontee Kofa, Executive Director
Sarah Drake, Program Director
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