The family of a 30-year-old Edmonton woman who died from COVID-19 is highlighting the need for everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccination.
Chantel Gregoire, a single mother of two daughters, died on Sunday – one of 17 reported deaths from COVID-19 over the long weekend in Alberta.
Fabian Gregoire, Chantel’s older brother, said he was in utter shock at the news.
“Somebody so young passing away from COVID was the last thing any of us would ever even think of,” Fabian said.
Chantel worked at Kumi Beauty Salon in downtown Edmonton for seven years. Fabian says the salon continued to require masking, distancing, and enhanced sanitizing after provincial public health orders were lifted.
Chantel Gregoire worked as a beautician at Kumi Beauty Salon in downtown Edmonton (Supplied)
Fabian added that his sister took those measures seriously, but she was not vaccinated.
“Being a single mother, working full time with two daughters, it was always kind of a scheduling thing,” he shared. “Unfortunately, she didn’t make the appointment and get it.
“She took it (the pandemic) very seriously, especially after I had caught COVID-19 last spring.”
Fabian said how family members kept reminding Chantel to get the vaccine, but the timing never worked for her availability. The family does not know where she caught the virus.
“Her free time always revolved around her daughters,” Fabian said.
“She was a bright person,” Fabian said. “When she started (at Kumi), she was finally doing something she was passionate about. She was always talking about her clients, her good days there, doing what she loved.”
Chantel’s brother said her world revolved around her two daughters, a 10-year-old and one-year-old.
“There was nothing she wouldn’t do for them,” Fabian said. “She worked hard to support them.”
Chantel kisses the forehead of one of her two daughters (Supplied)
A GoFundMe page has been set-up to support funeral expenses and her daughters.
While young Albertans are less likely to be hit hard by COVID-19, more than 1,700 have been hospitalized by the disease – including 244 who were sick enough to require intensive care.
Twenty-six Albertans under the age of 39 have died from COVID-19, according to Alberta Health.
“The vaccine is there for everybody,” Fabian said.
“COVID-19, it doesn’t discriminate, no matter what your faith, political beliefs, what you don’t believe or believe,” he added. “Any potential COVID positive person and the people around them, you know your health is at stake, and the health and wellbeing of anybody close to you.”