Community honors life of RaNiya Wright for her birthday

VIDEO: Raniya Wright Birthday Memorial

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - More than a hundred children, friends and family members gathered to celebrate RaNiya Wright four months after her death on what would have been her 11th birthday.

“I just want everyone to be happy about this day, not sad,” RaNiya’s mother, Ashley Wright said.

In March, RaNiya’s death gained national attention after initial reports indicated she died after a fight with a student at her elementary school.

An autopsy later revealed she died from a brain hemorrhage due to a rare condition.

However, family members said they are still looking for answers.

“We’re here until the end. That’s dealing with everything,” Raniya’s grandfather, Earnest Wright said. “We ain’t going nowhere till justice is served.”

Family friends say the student’s death left a hole in the lives of those around her. But they want to spend her birthday celebrating rather than mourning.

Da’rhyia Gethers, 10, said her spirits were lifted after she was able to play with others in memory of her best friend.

“I’m feeling good because I am celebrating my best friend’s birthday with her family.”

RaNiya’s mother says the death opened up a much needed discussion surrounding bullying at school, and her daughter continues to impact those she knew.

“I think her purpose was to keep people together,” Ashley Wright said. “You know, we’re all here together and everything is going good, so I think that’s her purpose.”

The family said they plan to do this every year in celebration of their daughter.

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