Teen's death sparks 'magical' worldwide pay-it-forward campaign

Published: Thursday, Sept. 26 2013 12:15 p.m. MDT

Most recently a popular country group, The Zac Brown Band, has gotten involved in "paying it forward" for the teen, according to Erie (Pa.) TV News. Alyssa O'Neill's friend Sean Gallagher, Mike Gallagher's son, decided to make a tribute video asking the band to dedicate a song to his best friend at their upcoming concert in Erie.

"I am posting this video to YouTube hoping that someone will help me get a message to Zac Brown," Sean Gallagher posted in the video. "AJO loved your song 'Free.' She was my best friend in the world. We were going to see your show 12/13/13. Because of epilepsy, Alyssa is gone. So would you please sing 'Free' when you come to Erie, Pa., and dedicate it to AJO!"

The video went live Sept. 13 and has officially reached the country group. Mike Gallagher recently spoke with the Zac Brown Band's manager and reported on Twitter that friends and family members will be invited to the December performance. Erie TV News posted a portion of the tweet where Gallagher shared a portion of the band's message.

"(The group's manager) was the kindest man on earth and he said ... 'Hello Mike ZBB wanted to let you know they have watched the video produced by your son Sean. They thought it was amazing and they were so moved."

The O'Neill family has also taken this opportunity to raise awareness about epilepsy. A foundation has been set up and information can be found on the family's Facebook page, AJO Forever in our hearts.

"Alyssa was a great person. She would be constantly helping friends out," Jason O'Neill told Erie TV News. "I think what Alyssa did was that she made everybody around her a better person. I know she made us better people."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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