On what would have been daughter Chelsea's "Sweet 16" birthday, Stephanie and Lynn Peaslee will instead be helping with a blood drive organized in her memory at the American Red Cross' Layton Donor Center.
She was hit and killed instantly as she tried to cross I-15 near the Layton Hills Mall in December.
How she died is not what her mom wants people to remember about the girl, whom she described as "always a very giving person. She loved people and always wanted to help people. She thought she would get in trouble at home because if her friends wanted something she would give it to them."
In death, the Central Davis Junior High freshman became a tissue and eye donor. "That was her last gift to people that needed help," said Stephanie Peaslee. "I know one of her heart valves helped a 3-year-old and her eyes helped two men who couldn't see before, one 28 and the other 31. In doing this blood drive, we want to promote donation and get people more aware of it. It's so needed."
Chelsea always had a heart for people who were less fortunate. Early on, she had a mild hearing defect and had ear tubes multiple times. That affected her speech and got her into Kids on the Move, an early childhood prevention program. It exposed her to and gave her a heart for all kinds of people with needs and challenges, her mom said.
Chelsea loved her friends and soccer and the sound of the ocean. She delighted in playing on the beach in Florida, where she was born. She also loved to clean, her mother said with a laugh.
"She loved to hang out with her friends. She was hardly ever home, always with her friends," who still come around. "She was well-behaved, not rebellious.
"She was shy until she got to know you, then she was really outgoing with you," Stephanie Peaslee said.
"She was the light of my life."
Blood drives are something familiar to the whole family, her mom said. Chelsea and her sisters, Kymberlie, 12, and Kylie, 10, often saw their mom give blood. That others would remember her by giving blood would have pleased the girl, Stephanie Peaslee said.Chelsea's blood drive will be held on her birthday, Saturday, Sept. 27, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the blood donation center, 852 W. Hill Field Road, Suite B. Walk-ins are welcome, but prospective donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment. Call 801-444-9307 and indicate that you want to donate "In Memory of Chelsea LaNae Peaslee's 16th Birthday."
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