Paige Holland understood you didn’t need to be a politician, or a wealthy CEO, or a Nobel laureate, to change the world.
"Paige was devoted to making others feel happy, important and loved," said her mother, Kara. "That was who she was ... Even if you make just one person a little happier each day, that is a day well-lived."
Few knew this better than Alexandra and Kacie Liebman, close friends of Paige who said she was always there for them—to make them smile, or defend them against bullies, or make them her famous rice pudding.
Paige passed away a year ago last week at the age of 17 from complications due to epilepsy, which afflicted her most of her life. Alexandra and Kacie’s mother, Robin, said it was “one of the saddest days” of her daughters’ lives.
And yet, Paige left behind “so many beautiful gifts.”
“She treated every single day like it was a holiday,” said Alexandra, a senior at Moorestown High School, who had been best friends with Paige since 10th grade. “If I had a bad day, Paige always knew how to make me smile.”
Kacie, Alexandra’s younger sister, said Paige was “like our sister.”
“She always thought about others and never about herself,” said the 12-year-old.
It was Kacie, along with her sister, who initially conceived the idea of honoring Paige’s memory, and her dream of beating epilepsy, with a fundraiser.
The Liebman sisters, with the help of their mother and other supporters, organized the Paige’s Green Dream 5k/10k Walk for this Sunday at Moorestown High School. Robin said performing community service is one of the requirements for bat mitzvah, which Kacie recently celebrated.
“There were no other things that she could think to do other than honoring Paige’s dream (of conquering epilepsy),” said Robin.
Kacie hopes not only will the event raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation, but also can dispel some of the misconceptions and stigmas surrounding the affliction.
Kara Holland said she is “so grateful” to the Liebmans and the other supporters and organizers behind the walk.
“It really does help warm our broken hearts,” she said. “We are very grateful and honored.”
Registration starts at 9 a.m., followed by opening remarks from the family and the dedication of a bench bearing Paige’s name outside the high school. The walk begins at 10 a.m.