TOLONO, Ill. (WCIA) — Last year a Central Illinois teenager died of an aneurysm and Saturday would have been Lacey Moore’s 20th birthday.
To celebrate, her family released balloons and also sent an important message so others can avoid her fate.
“I thought she would love that because that’s how her personality was,” says her mom, Michelle Moore.
At 12:30, purple balloons were released in Tolono and in half a dozen other states around the country. They were all for Lacey, who died suddenly last August. The balloon release allowed her family to heal just a little bit more for her first birthday not with them.
“It was very relieving,” says Moore. “I felt like she was here. I know a part of her lives on because she did give to the gift of hope.”
That gift is a heart which was donated to a ten-year old. The two families have not met yet. Her mom looks forward to the day they can, and for more news of who else Lacey was able to help.
But within the celebration, her family also wants to spread the word of how dangerous vaping can be, and how it may have caused this. Doctors told them vaping may have accelerated her aneurysm.
“Please don’t vape, because this is what happens,” says her grandma Marlene Shepherd. “We never knew. They said it grows very fast when you do the vaping.”
Members of her family got tested to see if they were at risk of anuerysms as well, and several found out they were. They are thankful they know about the condition now and were happy to see so many people celebrating Lacey.
“I could never imagine I was going to be in this position,” says Moore. “But it helps having family and friends.”
Moore says she did not show any symptoms, but they are encouraing people to know what they are. Like anger, mood swings, and headaches. They are hoping Lacey’s situation can help others.