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Time Magazine's Person of the Year: The Ebola Fighters
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"When I thank God for saving my life, I am not unique in that. If you watch videos of survivors in Liberia, so many of them thank God for saving their lives. I chose a career in medicine because I wanted a tangible skill with which to serve people... I went to Liberia because I long felt it was my vocation to spend my career as a medical missionary. Deep in the core of my heart, I still think that's my calling. I don't want to go on with life and forget this." -Dr. Kent Brantly

Whether or not you've sometimes wondered over the year's pick by Time magazine for "Person of the Year," it seems little can be argued against this year's selection: Ebola fighters.

The Time cover story takes a close-up look at people on the front lines of the fight against Ebola, from Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, to ambulance supervisor Foday Gallah.

Frieden says there was initially friction with the World Health Organization when the CDC sent in a team to West Africa.

"Essentially, people thought it was going to be controlled, and they didn't want us there. So I had to tell WHO, 'Let our team in, this is ridiculous,'" Frieden says. "They wanted to do it themselves. There was resentment. They didn't want to feel like they were dependent on the CDC. We left, and then Ebola came roaring back."

Gallah, an ambulance drive, explaining his work, says, "I am going to get on that ambulance. I am going to every nook and cranny of the capital city, pick up whatsoever Ebola patient and take them to the treatment unit, and give them words of hope, of encouragement. And try to educate people about Ebola."

Kent Brantly, a doctor who contracted the deadly virus while working in Liberia, said he went to Liberia because he felt it was his vocation to spend his career as a medical missionary. "Deep in the core of my heart, I still think that's my calling," he says. "I don't want to go on with life and forget this."

Kaci Hickox, a 33-year-old nurse from Maine who got caught up in the controversy about quarantining returning workers who may have been exposed to Ebola, said she witnessed in Sierra Leone the devastation that the disease causes "and have personally experienced the stigma that fear of this disease brings."

"Still, I hope that compassion and knowledge will soon overcome the fear so that we can beat Ebola," she tells Time. "I do want to go back to West Africa, but for now, I'm taking things day by day."

Nurse Nina Pham was also infected with the virus while caring for a patient at a Dallas hospital. "I replay it over and over again in my head how I could have gotten infected," Pham says. "I did everything that was recommended. It was just a shock when my chief nursing officer and a CDC officer came to see me in their full protective equipment. I knew it was not good."

Time's annual selection goes to a man, woman, couple or concept that the magazine's editors feel had the most influence on the world during the previous 12 months.