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VFL faces COVID-19, starts foundation helping others with long-haul symptoms

Travis Exum had a serious battle with COVID-19 that saw him hospitalized with the virus.
The Team COVID Long Haulers Foundation is setting out to share Travis’ story, while also raising awareness of what the virus can do to those infected.
Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 11:00 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - At one point in his life, Travis Exum was tasked with striking people out, now the former Volunteer Pitcher is helping people around home in their fight against COVID-19.

Exum, a traveling nurse now, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in January of 2021.

“It was this time last year; I was in Amarillo, Texas. I got diagnosed on January 5; I had some several days before that, so we’re right at a year that I fell ill,” said Exum. “If you remember, my wife was able to get to Amarillo and get me back to Knoxville, and within 24 hours I was hospitalized with a serious case, of COVID.”

That was almost one year ago.

Exum is now fighting long-term COVID-19 symptoms, also known as a COVID long-hauler.

“I still have different things I deal with on daily basis related to COVID. That’s part of COVID, long COVID or a COVID long hauler,” said Exum. “I have things I deal with on a daily basis, and those things were preventing me still to be able to work.”

This has caused Exum and his wife, Shannon, to use their experience to help others.

“I’m a nurse, and I miss caring for people, and I want to do something to give back to our community. So, we have created a team COVID Long-Hauler Foundation,” said Exum.

The Team COVID Long Haulers Foundation is setting out to share Travis’ story while raising awareness of what the virus can do to those infected.

“Essentially, it’s to promote awareness, and we’ve got tens of thousands of people in our community who are dealing with this,” said Exum. “So we want to raise awareness, number one to help support, and what our goal is to get to the point where we can help fund some research to help you know again, our community to bring awareness to this.”

January, 22nd Team COVID Long Haulers is holding an empowerment walk to raise money for the foundation.

“We’re thankful, and we wanted to somehow give back,” said Exum.

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