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Remembering the Arizonans we lost to COVID-19 in 2021

We have lost parents, spouses, mothers, fathers, teachers and beloved community members to the unrelenting virus surging through our state.

PHOENIX — Arizona is gripped with suffering and grief as we continue to lose people to coronavirus. 

We have lost parents, spouses, mothers, fathers, teachers and beloved community members to the unrelenting virus surging through our state.

More than 12,000 Arizonans have died from complications due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.  

And 12 News continues to recognize and honor the lives of people who fought hard to live, but could not survive the virus. 

If you know someone in Arizona who died of COVID-19 that you would like to add to this remembrance, email their names, photos and more information to connect@12News.com 

MORE: Remembering some of the Arizonans we lost to COVID-19 in 2020

RELATED: December was the deadliest month in 2020 for Arizona COVID-19 deaths

Here are some of the Arizonans we lost to COVID-19 in 2021:

Mayra Millan, 46, lost her battle with COVID-19 just before the new year. She left behind six children. 

Her 25-year-old daughter Vanessa Perez became the one who will raise her siblings.

“I’m being strong for all my siblings," Perez said. "But I’m really grateful and I always tell them that I’m happy there’s so many of us. God bless because we’re what’s helping each other move forward.”

Vanessa said her mom was an essential worker at a local grocery store. She cared for her family until COVID-19 took her life in December.

“They would tell us she was getting better and we would get our hopes up high," Perez said. "And then the next day the same lung that had collapsed, re-collapsed.”

MORE: Valley mom of 6 dies of COVID-19, leaving her oldest to care for her siblings

Credit: Vanessa Perez

Thousands of Arizonans who have died from COVID-19 each have a unique story. 

Here’s a look back at a few more of the Arizonans we lost to the coronavirus.