A courageous 17-year-old from Danbury, Connecticut completed her bucket list just moments before her tragic death on July 2nd.
When crossing the street, Rebecca Townsend and her friend, Benjamin Arne, were in the path of a car racing down the highway right towards them. Instead of jumping out of the way, Townsend pushed Arne out of the way and was instantly killed when the car struck her.
Although he suffered major injuries, Arne survived the disaster. But just hours after the accident, Rebecca’s sisters found something laying out on her bed: her bucket list. The last item on her list? “To save a life.”
Rebecca had created the list because of a social studies assignment in high school. Keeping it simple, she only had three goals: To kiss in the rain, to fly to Spain and to save a life. According to her family, Townsend had already completed the first two before her death, and her heroic last moment in life completed the list.
I smile because you’re my sister, I laugh because there’s nothing you can do about it #tbt #portugal A photo posted by Rebecca Townsend (@rememberingrebecca) on
It’s unknown the reason why her bucket list happened to be out just hours before her death, but her family has found a way to find comfort through the coincidence.
“Who knows why Rebecca was looking at that letter the night she left us… but I think it’s her way of telling us she is OK; she accomplished what she needed to; she made it,” said her sister.
Her family and community are not the only ones affected by Rebecca’s passing. She’s the First is a charity that sponsors girls in third world countries to be the first in their families to graduate from secondary school – and Rebecca is its founder.
Because of her inspiring life, people have posted from all over on a Facebook page named Remembering Rebecca. The page is a platform for those who not only support Rebecca’s life but also a place to share their only stories.
Rebecca was planning to attend Notre Dame University in the fall, where her future classmates would have undoubtedly also been huge supporters of Rebecca’s legacy. With a Go Fund Me page the 2019 class hoped to raise $1,500 to make and sell bracelets at the Notre Dame Welcome Weekend in August. With that, they would contribute all profit to Rebecca’s foundation, She’s the First.
One of the things Rebecca was most excited for about attending Notre Dame this fall was participating in @shesthefirst, a charity helping girls in developing countries access higher education. Rebecca led her high school’s chapter of She’s the First and was very passionate about the organization. Rebecca’s peers at Notre Dame started a fundraiser in her name for She’s the First. Their efforts will keep Rebecca’s memory alive and benefit a wonderful organization. To contribute to the Notre Dame fundraiser, see the link in profile. ❤️ A photo posted by Rebecca Townsend (@rememberingrebecca) on
But with all of her advocates, it’s no surprise that over $4,000 was raised and the difference immediately went into the program.
While the end of Rebecca’s life is one of heartbreak, the spirit, strength and love of this incredible girl is still inspiring people all over.
What an amazing story of courage, hope and love!