RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – There are many moving stories of why people want to be part of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Tonight, Avery Spence is one of them. The 17-year-old Manchester High School student planned to be there, but lost her life in a car accident one week ago. Now those who knew her are coming together to run for a cause -- and a friend.
She was a soccer star determined to use her athletic ability to help victims of breast cancer.
"Because that's who Avery was. She was totally unselfish and wanted to give to things, wanting to be involved," said Roger Casseum, Athletic Director for Manchester High School.
Avery Spence was supposed to be one of six Manchester students, in pink and blue, running for a cure.
"She was talking about it at practice a lot," said friend Syndal Haun.
But she died Sunday; thrown from a car that flipped several times. Friends are recovering as best they can. A memorial now in space 22; Avery's spot. A banner of hand-written condolences stretches across the high school.
"People don't know what to do. I had no idea what to do when I found out, but gave people an opportunity to kind of share their love with Avery," Syndal said.
Syndal Haun is now waking up early Saturday, the day of prom, to run for Avery. She's one in a growing group.
"We're somewhere around 100 now," Roger said.
The school's athletic director is working to get releases signed before students take their mark.
"We want it to be more of a celebration. Just go down there and laugh and she'll be watching us and marching with us. She'll be right there," Roger said.
The race reminder will go to Avery's family, but the moment in time with the friend who was supposed to run this course will forever be with those who miss her dearly.
"Don't take life for granted, you don't think things can happen, but they do," said Megan Weast. "I never thought I'd lose my best friend and I did."
Instead of each student paying $30 to run, the Komen Foundation is allowing Manchester High School to make a donation, so students can be here Saturday.
The Komen Foundation is accepting donations in honor of Avery Spence. So far 16 people have donated about $1600. If you'd like to help, click here.