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“The Vulnerable” by Hana Phelps

At 21-years old, Hana Phelps was working to establish herself as a future small business owner in Traverse City. She was interested in providing a high-quality and personalized hair salon experience for her clients as well as learning how to give haircuts to children in her community who were effected with sensory processing difficulties.

During the early months of the pandemic that would change the world, her priorities changed drastically. She received a diagnosis of stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Faced with this challenge and upcoming treatments, she persevered. She was fearful of her high risk of succumbing to COVID-19 if she contracted it. She hoped the people around her would choose to vaccinate, as any level of prevention could have been potentially lifesaving for her. In 2020, she received the good news she had hoped to hear. She was cancer-free.

As Hana’s life returned to some normalcy, she remembered the impact of the vaccine on her perception of safety. When a call went out to submit artwork for the “Voices for Vaccination” awareness campaign, she answered it by creating her painting “The Vulnerable.” It won first place in the adult category. Hear her inspiration for “The Vulnerable” as well as the values she still upholds within the hair salon she can call her own.