PARKER, Colo. — Alicia Rodgers and her family moved to Parker to pursue a better life. Her husband had a new job he liked, her eldest daughter was in elementary school and she'd just given birth to twins.
Then, she got sick with COVID-19. She was admitted to the hospital, and her parents drove up from Albuquerque to help take care of the children over Labor Day weekend. Rodgers would never make it home.
Rodgers, who chose not to get vaccinated during her pregnancy, died Sept. 7.
"It's gonna be a long, hard road. It really is," Teresa Santana said. She's Rodgers' mom.
Teresa and her husband Philip are back in Albuquerque, and they've just enrolled their granddaughter in elementary school.
But the rest of the family is still in Colorado.
A GoFundMe set up by Rodgers' sister-in-law is trying to get them home, as well as pay for her final expenses.
So far, thanks largely to the generosity of her neighbors in Parker, that fundraiser has hit more than $15,000.
"The generosity has made me break down several times. Just unbelievable," Philip Santana said.
Rodgers' daughter's school, Cherokee Trail Elementary, has helped raise money and donated gift cards, baby formula, diapers and wipes, as well.
"There's no way we can ever thank everybody enough for what they've done," Teresa Santana said.
The most important thing, though, is getting the rest of the family back to New Mexico.
"It means so much just to have everybody together so we can support each other," Philip Santana said.
Rodgers was a mom to four girls -- an 8-year-old, 1-year-old, and the newborn twins.
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