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Week of Thanks: #AJO

One hashtag seen around the world that started right here in Erie stems from a legacy left behind by a life lost too soon. Alyssa Josephine O'neill's parents are thankful for the impact she's left behind after her untimely death.
November 28, 2013 - One hashtag seen around the world that started right here in Erie stems from a legacy left behind by a life lost too soon.

Alyssa Josephine O'neill's parents are thankful for the impact she's left behind after her untimely death.

Sarah and Jason O'Neill went through a tragedy that no parent should ever have to face.

In September, they lost their daughter, 18-year-old Alyssa O’Neill, after an epileptic seizure.

Her untimely death led her parents to start a pay it forward movement raising awareness for epilepsy by using the #AJO.

"She left a legacy she probably would have never believed,” Sarah said.

#AJO led the O'Neills to create a scholarship fund at the Erie Community Foundation.

A $25,000 goal the O’Neills wanted to reach in six months was reached in just over two months.

"They have a minimum requirement and once that's hit it's there for life so we don't have to worry for life and it will payout for long after we're gone so that's great"

The O'Neill's will continue to keep their daughters memory alive and give thanks this holiday season.

"I'm thankful for the time I did get to share with Alyssa, it did get cut short, and I would love a lot more time with her," Jason said. "I'm also extremely thankful to family and friends that have helped us out and the support of our community that has been outstanding."

"I'm thankful for my children, they make me get out of bed everyday.” Sarah said. “I'm thankful for Jason who has stood by me and helped and the community without them I don't know where we'd be."
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