ROXBURY, NJ – With help from her family, a Roxbury teacher who lost her husband to COVID-19 is spearheading a campaign that urges people to get vaccinated in honor of someone, or something, they care about.

Marla Sarrel, who teaches at Franklin School in Succasunna, said she and her family got the idea for the “This Jab’s For You” social media campaign after the loss of her husband, Louis, in April.

“Right after my husband passed, there was a nurse I never met who said she felt very touched by my husband and would sit with him and hold his hand because she knew we couldn’t,” Sarrel said. “That was a beautiful gift to me.”

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When the nurse got a COVID-19 vaccination shot in December, she sent Sarrel a photo of the event and said she thought of Louis during the procedure, Sarrel said.

Then, when Sarrel's brother-in-law - Dr. Steven Arsh, a surgeon – got his vaccination “he was overcome with emotion as well and said he thought to himself ‘this stab’s for you, Louis,’” Sarrel said. “That kind of made our whole campaign.”

Making a Tribute

Sarrel lives in Rockaway, but her Roxbury roots are deep. Her father, Seymour Geldzahler, was a local developer who had an office on Main Street in Succasunna for more than 50 years. Sarrel said Marla Terrace in Ledgewood is named after her.

In the same fashion, Sarrel hopes people will view their vaccinations as tributes to people – or even things such as businesses - important to their lives.

“We realize everybody been affected by COVID one way or another, whether you lost somebody or not,” she said. “Everybody is going to get their vaccination for one reason or another, whether it’s to see their grandchildren or parents again or for small businesses that were lost or to see the lights back on Broadway.”

Essentially, "This Jab’s For You" is an effort “to help people get over the hesitancy,” about being vaccinated, Sarrel said.

Louis Sarrel, 58, was a local real estate agent. He died three days after his 58th birthday, shortly after receiving his final treatment for a curable cancer, said his wife. She said she and Louis were married almost 30 years and have two grown sons.

To learn more about the campaign, CLICK HERE. To participate, vaccination recipients should tag @thisjabsforyou and/or #thisjabsforyou in a post-injection social media post.

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