By CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis used his State of the State speech this year to thank Coloradans who he says have been heroes in the pandemic, including health care workers.

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“Day after day our brave health care workers put their own lives on hold and have made so many sacrifices to save so many souls,” Polis said.

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Over the last year, Polis has heard countless stories of bravery and sacrifice, but he says none of them are quite like that of Toni Moses. Her story so moved him, he shared it in his speech.

“Toni, a nurse at UCHealth in Greeley, who continued show up for her patients while she herself was undergoing chemotherapy for stage four cancer,” Polis explained.

Moses said she teared-up when she received the invitation to join the Governor in the House chamber.

“I was very honored,” she told CBS4’s Political Specialist Shaun Boyd.

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Moses was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September of 2019. She finished her first round of chemotherapy in March as the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in Colorado.

In September of 2020, the cancer came back as COVID-19 cases spiked. As an emergency room nurse, she was on the front line and continued to work while undergoing treatment for the cancer.

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“I was at high risk. I think working is doing something I love. I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years and it brings normalcy to your life,” Moses said.

In the midst of so much darkness, the governor saw her story as a beacon of hope.

“Here’s somebody who went in every day, while facing probably the hardest time in her own life, but never letting that stop her from doing the needed work,” Polis said.

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Moses says her job, her co-workers and her family helped her get through the tough times.

“It brought a reward to me, even through suffering and hardship. Everybody has got hardship and mine just happened to be a little different than everyone else’s,” she said.

Moses will learn in two weeks if she is cancer free. Polis said he hopes Coloradans who hear her story will honor her and other health care workers by continuing to take precautions so we don’t see another surge in cases.

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Health care access and affordability will again be a top priority for Polis this legislative session. The public health insurance option bill will be back as well as bills to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Shaun Boyd