Reese Langer had severe food allergies and asthma, and the 13-year-old was savvy about what foods she needed to steer clear of to avoid even a hidden ingredient that would be dangerous for her, her family says. But on May 16, during a cheer banquet in her home state of Idaho, she ate a dessert she thought was safe. A severe allergic reaction followed, and the teen died on May 20, her family writes on the website for ReeseStrong, a nonprofit established in her honor. "If Reese were here today, she would want us all to know that life is short—live fully, be kind, love hard and always give with all of your heart," they write.
"We prayed for a miracle but in reality, we received that 13 years ago," Reese's mom told CBS 2 after the girl's celebration of life ceremony. ReeseStrong will raise money to provide EpiPens to people in need. The epinephrine injection devices cost, on average, $669.82 for a two-pack, the website states. "Many children (as well as adults) are afraid to eat outside of their own home in fear of ingesting something that may put their body into anaphylactic shock. ReeseStrong is here to help ease the financial burden of EpiPens, as well as to create a safe place with knowledge about food allergies." (Read more Idaho stories.)