Students build garden in honor of classmate who died

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ODENVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — A fourth grader at Margaret Elementary School in Odenville lost her battle with Type 1 diabetes in March.

Now, her classmates are doing what they can to make sure she’s not forgotten. They’re creating a garden in 10-year-old Emilee Thornton’s honor.

“She wanted every child to live a happy, normal life,” said Tammy Files, Thornton’s aunt and guardian. “She would say no one knew what it was like being her. She was tired of being her. She wanted a cure.”

Her classmates wanted to do something special.

“The kids kind of came together and brainstormed all kinds of ideas,” said school nurse Lisa Daniels. “We had lots of suggestions, and the final plan ended up being a garden shaped in a butterfly.”

One family donated the bricks. Lowe’s donated the flowers.

When the students finish up their work, they’ll walk through a hallway and see a wall filled with memories and pictures of Emilee.

While she may have lost her battle with Type 1 diabetes, her memory is very much alive thanks to the kind gesture her classmates made to remember her.

The students also participated in a Walk for the Cure to raise money for diabetes research. In all, they raised $2,500.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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