'Mother of the Year' breakfast honors 2 who survived COVID, continue to serve others

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- There was not one joyless moment in the 'Mother of the Year' breakfast, hosted by the City of Paterson and Mayor Andre Sayegh.

Dozens of mothers and matriarchs were there to celebrate two of their own, who not only beat COVID but also buckled up to help others dodge the virus that had put their lives on the line.

Reverend Kathy Kuykendall spent seven days in the hospital, recovered, and then mobilized with her church to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

"Because we both had it - everyone kept us in prayer. I'm grateful to be alive," Kuykendall said.



Former Mayor Jane Williams-Warren is a warrior as well - she lost her husband in December to cancer, and then came down with COVID. She recovered, and then threw herself into getting her community inoculated.

"I was afraid, but how could I advocate for others to get the vaccine if I didn't?" she said.

Both women say they are surrounded by friends and family who supported them through their illnesses, like the reverend's daughter, Tanisha, who nursed both of her parents back to health - even if she had to get tough.

It was a celebration for two who survive and continue to serve.

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