#AJO Pay It Forward Movement Reaches Zac Brown Band - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

#AJO Pay It Forward Movement Reaches Zac Brown Band

You've seen it on Starbucks cups all over the world, the initials AJO. That "pay it forward movement" was started by the parents of Alyssa Josephine O'Neill, after the 18-year-old's sudden death two weeks ago.

That message has now found it's way to the Zac Brown Band.

"I felt really happy for Alyssa because she really liked them," said Sarah O'Neill, Alyssa's mother. "She went to their last concert with her boyfriend as a birthday present and right as Zac Brown Band started playing, she had a seizure. She had to be mediced out and she missed it." 

Alyssa's favorite song the band sings is "Free." Knowing this, her friend Sean Gallagher, made a video to the song, to remember her.

"Maybe Zac Brown will see this, he's coming to town, maybe he'll sing a song or something for her," said Gallagher.

And they will. The band was so moved by Sean's video, they're dedicating the song "Free" to Alyssa during their show in Erie.

"When Sean decided he was going to make this happen, I said, 'if anyone can do it, he can do it.' So I'm really proud of him, proud of her and just really excited," said Sarah.

While this is a sad time for Alyssa's loved ones, they're finding comfort knowing she is leaving quite the legacy.

"I know how special she was, her family knows how special she was, but for strangers just to take our word for it and go out and want to do something kind for someone else, you just love people again," said Sarah.

"It's kind of sad that something like this has to happen for everyone to realize that everyone can step up and that one person can make a difference," said Gallagher. "And she has made a difference."

Not only is the O'Neill family touched with the "pay it forward movement," they're also hoping it brings more awareness to epilepsy.

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