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Remembering Rylie: One year after daughter's death, parents fight for awareness

Wednesday night, Rylie Wagner's friends and family lit candles in remembrance of the light they say their daughter, niece, and friend was to the world. (Photo Courtesy of Renee Overstreet)

Wednesday night, Rylie Wagner's friends and family lit candles in remembrance of the light they say their daughter, niece, and friend was to the world.

Wagner loved everything about art. She loved to draw, sing, dance, and play instruments. With her spunky personality and love for people, her parents said she let up any room.

“ I don't even know if I can put her into words,“ her mother Renee Overstreet said. "She's so special."

On April 4, 2017 Wagner took her own life. Her mom said the 13-year-old was bullied at school.

"They would call her names,” Overstreet said. "They made fun of her for having short hair, for having red hair, for having freckles, for being short."

Since losing their daughter, Rylie‘s parents and others have joined together to start Rylie‘s Rainbow Foundation. The organization aims to bring awareness to bullying and to work with schools to make sure every child has a safe learning environment.

"She felt like she didn't have anyone to trust,“ Overstreet said.

On April 22 Salon Nefisa is hosting a "Cut-A-Thon for Rylie's Rainbow Foundation. The salon is offering $20 haircuts all day with the proceeds going to the foundation.

Overstreet said since Rylie‘s death, she’s heard from several parents asking for advice. She said her daughter would want her to help others.

"Our goal is to make as much change as we can," she said. "I feel like she would want me doing this for her and that by doing this her death isn't in vain. She still has a voice and she's making change because she was such a bright and happy girl that would help anyone."

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