“She showed us how precious life is and how we take it all for granted,” says Cassidy Kohnle, senior.
Szakacsy was in the hospital 103 days battling an extreme allergic reaction to a common skin medication called Minocycline, which, in very rare occasions, attacks the heart, lungs intestines, and several other organs. Szakacsy passed away just two weeks after her 17th birthday on July 30, 2011.
“I will always remember the way Hannah came to class with a smile everyday. I don’t think I will forget the presentation she did with Maggie Nguyen; it’s how I like to remember her. I think about her everyday,” said Mr. Mark Storer. Szakacsy did not only affect her peers but also her teachers.
Szakacsy had a monumental influence on many people. At 14, she started a program called Stop the Bully with Bully Buddies, helping kids help themselves. She felt the need to take action, having been bullied in elementary school and after hearing about Brandon McInerny; she sat next to him in 5th grade. Larry King was allegedly killed by McInerny. Szakacsy knew that the problem of bullying was no simple matter and that the effects were lifelong, even deadly. She returned to her school in Ventura and spoke in every classroom, ensuring that the kids understood just how they could turn this problem around; Szakacsy turned leaders out of power hungry bullies. Her mother worked in the school with her, and with help from the kids and others, wrote, “I just wanna, Stop The Bully”, which was the number one requested song in Ventura County. Mr. Doug Szakacsy and Mrs. Nancy Szakacsy are continuing their daughter’s vision.
“She was my best friend since sixth grade; she was the one who helped me come out of my shell,” says Maggie Nguyen, senior.
Szakacsy was the type of person that was full of life and would always be there at the best and worst of times. She always had great advice to give and could listen to your problems for days.
“She was always a happy person who could brighten your day,” says Gage Schreiber, senior. Szakacsy made a difference for everyone she talked to; she genuinely cared about all of her friends.
To help support Szakacsy in the way that she always supported others, many of her friends pulled together to make “Hannah’s Heart bracelets,” an idea that came during her heart failure. They were sold for donation and the money was donated to Szakacsy and her family and will be used to pay for her already family funded Bully program. Many students and teachers wanted to help in anyway they could. There were many people who held fundraisers, Autumn Wright, senior, and Kohnle held a fundraiser at Boba-lisious on June 6, 2011. “I remember the line was out the door!” says Kohnle.