Last updated: February 20. 2013 12:56AM - 846 Views

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Terri Besecker tries to wear something - a piece of jewelry, an article of clothing - every day to remember her daughter, Cecilia, who died in a car accident on June 28, 2012.

Now family, friends and community members can do their part to keep the memory of Cecilia, affectionately known as CC, alive while helping others.

A blood drive in memory of Cecilia will be held at St. Therese's Roman Catholic Church in Shavertown from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10. The blood drive will benefit the Wyoming Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

An employee of St. Therese's Church, Terri said the church hosts blood drives throughout the year. She thought it might be a good way to keep Cecilia's memory alive.

Participants, in addition to making an appointment with the Red Cross, are encouraged to wear polka dots and pearls, which were staples of Cecilia's wardrobe.

I used to call her Pearl because she used to have pearls on all the time, Terri said. What kid wears pearls? But she loved them.

The 22-year-old Dallas High School graduate was attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania and studying fashion merchandising at the time of her death.

She kind of set her own path with fashion, Terri said. She could put anything together and just really pulled it off.

Courtney Besecker, Cecilia's twin sister, said Cecilia was always the brave one, and she even attempted to give blood once in high school, though she had a fever at the time and could not donate.

I was too much of a chicken to do it, Courtney said.

Though the twins had their differences - Courtney is studying community health at East Stroudsburg University and enjoys sports and fitness - Courtney said it's been difficult dealing with life without her sister.

I don't realize it yet, she said. The full force of it hasn't hit me.

Terri said the family spent the holidays in Jamaica this year instead of keeping with traditions in order to help the healing process.

We went away just to change it up because we felt we would miss her even more, Terri said. It was just weird making the reservation for five instead of six. There will be stuff like that for a long time.

Terri and her husband, Robert Jr., are also parents to 30-year-old Patrick and 22-year-old Andrew. She said the family is also creating opportunities to become closer after the tragedy.

I wanted to get the five of us together and have quality family time and build some memories of the five of us because everyone's busy, she said. I wanted Courtney to get closer to her brothers because that's who she has now. It's a new normal.

Terri hopes the blood drive will encourage those affected by Cecilia's death to donate their time and self to a good cause.

I thought a lot of [Cecilia's friends] were going to be home for winter break, so this could possibly be a really good thing to get a lot of blood for the Red Cross and compel some of these kids to donate blood for the first time, Terri sdaid.

She hopes this event will spur others to keep Cecilia's memory alive. The family started a fund called the Cecilia Besecker Collection for the Arts, which they hope to use for scholarships and programs related to arts, fashion and music - subjects near to Cecilia's heart.

She was very confident in herself. She knew how to have fun, Terri said.


For more information about the Red Cross blood drive in memory of Cecilia Besecker, call St. Therese's Church at 696-1144. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

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