Sept. 4 marked the one year anniversary of the passing of Alyssa Josephine O’Neil, a student at Penn State Behrend. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and unexpectedly died of a seizure.
In this tragedy, Alyssa was remembered with a purple hashtag that started at Starbucks and made its way across the world. The purple is linked to epilepsy as its awareness color, and the hashtag were Alyssa’s initials: ajo.
A “pay-it-forward” movement started with pumpkin spice lattes. On Alyssa’s memorial Facebook page, her father presents a video explaining how she had requested the Starbucks fall flavor the night before she passed.