Often times tragedies can bring out the best in people. A group of children at South Charleston Middle School are proving you are never too young to do something big especially when you are inspired by someone special.
Students at South Charleston Middle School have created a Facebook page in memory of their classmate and friend, 13 year old Lauren Swann. The 8th grader died after a severe asthma attack.
Her friends are now launching an overwhelming effort to remember Swann and raise awareness about the condition that took her life.
"She was just a happy child. She was bouncy and energetic," recalled Swann's grandmother, Paulette Huffman. Huffman says she never imagined a condition that seemed to be well managed by doctors would take her granddaughter's life at such a young age.
"She had a sudden asthma attack which stopped her heart and the paramedics were not able to revive her," Huffman explained.
Swann died December 23 while she and her classmates were on holiday break.
"She was really nice," said Swann's friend Kristen Shomo. She is one of the students at South Charleston Middle School who has been leading the efforts to remember Swann. "She had pretty blue eyes and long black hair."
Even though Swann is no longer in the halls of the school she loved, she is still inspiring her friends and guiding them through the sadness of losing her. They made ribbons to sell in her memory.
"It has helped us all come together and learn more about her and remember her happily," Shomo said.
Students decided to take the money they collected and donate it to the American Lung Association with the hope of making a difference.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, asthma related deaths among children are rare with under 200 reported annually.
Shomo and her friends invited an asthma expert to come to their school and speak during health classes to help them learn more about the condition that killed their friend. It is something Shomo says Lauren would appreciate.
"She was a happy person," Shomo said.
A memorial service for Lauren will be Friday evening at 6 p.m. at South Charleston Middle School.
The school is setting up a special art award that will be given to one student every year. It is a way of honoring Swann's talent and love for art.
Her family is also proud of the fact that she was an organ donor.
If you want to learn more about Lauren's story or more about asthma warning signs and treatment follow the links.