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Americans infected with coronavirus who are recovering at home "will get through this," a Long Island, N.Y., mother who battled the virus said Saturday.
"I feel for the people who have had worse luck than I have, but I've been extremely lucky with this and was able to manage it at home," said Berrent, 45, of Port Washington. "I am feeling back to myself."
After her recovery, which she chronicled online along with her frustrations over the difficulty getting tested, Berrent decided she wanted to do more to help others.
Since she was one of the first people in her area to be diagnosed with COVID-19, she knew right away that she could also be one of the first survivors.
"And with that came a tremendous responsibility, but [also] an opportunity because survivors could have superpowers," she said. "We can donate our blood. We can donate our plasma."
When she started to receive emails from research institutions looking for survivors, she set out to help create an "opt-in database."
Berrent said she is working to expedite matches between researchers and survivors. Right now, it's a grassroots movement on a public Facebook page that has garnered almost 10,000 members in two days.
"Matches are being made left and right between researchers and survivors," she said.