FOX21 News is celebrating remarkable women in southern Colorado who inspire, lead and make a difference in our lives. This month we’re sharing the stories of four women who were selected as our finalists for the Most Remarkable Woman in southern Colorado.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Michelle Cordova is a critical care nurse at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, and she’s no stranger to hard work.

“I worked as a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant), I had two jobs, I worked like 60 hours a week and then went to school at night,” she said.

She’s been in healthcare since she was 17, and has spent the last 22 years working at Parkview in Pueblo.

“I really don’t have anybody in my family that is medical at all, so I don’t know where it came from to be honest with you,” said Cordova.

She credits her hard work ethic with getting her to where she is now, but it wasn’t always easy.

“When I first got a divorce from their father, I had three kids in three different schools, they were on three different cheer teams,” said Cordova. “I don’t have any family here so I was relying on my friends to drive them around and take them to practice. Somebody had something going on all the time, so that was the hardest period for me.”

Last year, Cordova faced new challenges as a nurse in critical care during a global pandemic.

“We lost a lot of people and it was heart wrenching,” she said.

Cordova provided comfort for dozens of people during their final moments.

“I believe that you’re not born into this life without somebody and you should never die without anybody there present,” she said.

She held hand after hand, all while dealing with her own medical issues.

“Right now I’m having some neurological issues, it’s SCA (spinocerebellar ataxis). It’s basically an atrophy of the cerebellum and the spinal cord,” Cordova said.

“At home I do really well and I know my environment, but sometimes, like big hallways and whatnot I have to kind of reroute everything to the cortex,” she said.

Still she presses on, setting a good example for her three daughters.

“I have two daughters that work at the hospital with me,” she said.

Cordova’s remarkable journey is not lost on her fiancé, who nominated her for this award, even though she’d rather point the spotlight on someone else.

“I’m not worthy of that, at all. I’m just kind of the average person trying to get through raising three girls and working and taking care of the house and everything else,” she said.

The top winner for FOX21’s Remarkable Women contest will be announced on Thursday, April 1.