Chris Nybo, Illinois state senator, speaks at the Annie Law signing to represent the state senate’s support for the law.

Photo courtesy of Cat Hanson

Devoted family and friends uphold Annie’s legacy

September 29, 2018

In working to preserve the legacy of a life lost too soon, the signing of the Annie Legere Law was passed on July 31st. Annie’s law stands to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred on Aug. 26 2015 when Annie Legere died as a result of an allergic reaction.

Photo courtesy of Cat Hanson
Chris Nybo, Illinois state senator, speaks at the Annie Law signing to represent the state senate’s support for the law.

Her unexpected death launched a new movement of allergy awareness thanks to the friends and family of Legere, who started the Annie Legere Foundation or ALF.

“What happened to Annie on that night should never happen to anyone ever again,” junior Cat Hanson, a close friend of Annie, said. “No innocent life should end just because the first responders are unprepared for the incident at hand, because our first responders need to be there for the people, no matter what the circumstances are.”

The Annie Legere Foundation is comprised of a senior executive board, a junior executive board, and a junior board. The junior boards include Anna Hoerster, Brenna Bohaboy, Julia Pagni, Abbey Mauch, Gabriella Purpora, Julia Espinosa, Gabi Zanoni, Cat Hanson, Maggie Moore, Megan Cronin, Katherine Pettinger, Regan Toole, Rena Sotos, and Christina Sapata. Collaboratively, the different boards work towards making the world a more allergy sensitive place by visiting middle schools, planning events, and advocating for epipens.

Photo courtesy of Cat Hanson
Friends of Annie including Megan Cronin, Cat Hanson, Gabriella Purpora, Anna Hoerster, and Julia Pagni celebrate her life at the second annual Annie Walk.

Most recently the ALF board lobbied tirelessly to pass legislation entitled the “Annie Legere Law” that allows first responders to carry epinephrine, also known as epipens. The law was passed in August of 2017, but there was an issue concerning the liability held on the doctors if something negative were to happen at the scene of an injection.

In light of this concern, an amendment to Annie’s law was made on July 31st, 2018. This amendment does not hold doctors legally liable for any of the possible negative outcomes. At the signing, junior executive board member Cat Hanson, and Annie’s mother Shelly Legere spoke on the importance of allergy awareness and the legacy Annie has now left behind.

“I would do the anything to have my best friend back because it is really hard not being able to celebrate milestones and memories without her,” Hanson said. “Annie meant the world to me, and what happened to her that night was not fair. And I know for a fact that, when this law is put to action, it will save the lives of many.”

Despite the heavy grief associated with Legere’s passing, ALF has raised a significant amount of funds since that fateful night. The foundation has planned and hosted dances, fundraisers, walks, and has now successfully achieved the signing of the Annie Legere Law.

These events and accomplishments have not only raised money and awareness for allergies, but they have also brought Annie’s family, friends and even acquaintances together as a way to remember and celebrate her life.

“The many events the Annie Legere Foundation puts together are a great way to keep Annie’s memory alive by bringing the community together,” Liam Parpan, a senior at York and Annie’s cousin said. “These events are such great opportunities to share the importance of allergy awareness and raise money for the foundation.”

Aside from raising money, the goal with the utmost importance to the Annie Legere Foundation is ensuring the tragedy that occurred to Annie never occurs again.

“This particular signing has made the biggest impact because if we can get this law passed in Illinois, we know it is possible to take this through the United States,” Rena Sotos, member of the junior ALF board said. “We are working to ensure that what happened to Annie doesn’t happen needlessly to anyone else.”

Photo courtesy of Cat Hanson
After her speech at the signing of the “Annie Legere Law”, Cat Hanson talks with a news anchor describing the importance of the signing of the Annie’s Law.

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