To most people, a bucket list is just a lifetime “to do” list. But, for one Batemans Bay family, it is the legacy that keeps their daughter’s spirit alive.
With bright eyes and a bright future, Kaileigh Fryer was like any other teenage girl.
Moving to Sydney in 2012 to undertake a business degree, Kaileigh worked, studied and partied.
But, there was more to Kaileigh then what met the eye.
Almost a month before her 20th birthday, Kaileigh’s life came to a tragic end, in Sydney’s North, early hours Wednesday, 9 April 2014.
Passenger in a car that left the Terry Hills road and rolled, Kaileigh died at the scene.
The 24 yr-old Wahroonga driver was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital with non-life- threatening injuries.
He was later charged with six offences including negligent driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning death and high-range drink driving.
Struggling with the loss of their middle daughter, Michelle and David Fryer found comfort in a journal they found when collecting Kaileigh’s belongings.
The journal contained a list of 49 things Kaileigh wanted to achieve before she died.
While some of her goals were simple, like “dance in the rain with someone I love,” and “plant a tree,” others were not so easy.
Kaileigh had wanted to open and orphanage.
While none of the Fryer family knew she had a bucket list, they weren’t shocked by the passion Kaileigh had put into it.
“We have no doubt that she would have done everything on that list,” the family says.
Though they are still amazed by the depth of such a young girls dreams, Kaileigh’s father, David, told channel Sevens Sunrise.
“She had spoken of these things since she was 16.”
Michelle, her mother, continued stating, “she was an amazing person and her bucket list shows that.”
The pair typed up the list and handed it around the day they buried their daughter, telling those that attended “tick it off and think of Kaileigh as you do it.”
The list has since gone viral and has even been published in German newspapers.
Kaileigh’s list is inspiring complete strangers worldwide, who have now set out to complete it in her honour.
Michelle and David have been overwhelmed by the support and impact their daughter is having on the world at the moment.
Ticking off number seven on the list, “to write a song,” singer/ songwriter for the Austrian band My Glorious, Sami Goodenough, says the list is trending on Facebook in Germany.
“A friend of mine was having a hard time when she came across the list and I think it really encouraged her.
“She came to me looking to get a group together to fulfill some of the tasks on the list. When we got the group together, we sat around for about two hours thinking of ideas”
They named their song A Hundred Tries and posted it on YouTube in tribute of Kaileigh for her birthday.
“This is number seven off the list,” he opens the video, “for an awesome girl, happy birthday.”
Acknowledging the fact that they were doing this for Kaileigh, they decided to write it from her perspective and address the way they think she would feel now that she is no longer here.
“I dreamed a dream but I woke up too soon, there’s never a good time to say good-bye,” Sami sings.
“And even if it’s sad and hurts like hell, the body leaves but not the soul, and I swear I will never go.”
Whilst this may not be the song Kaileigh had in mind when putting it on her list, her family, friends and others that are following this remarkable story have praised it.
Something Kaileigh was able to accomplish herself, however, was number 30 on the list, to be a mentor.
And, according to friends, she was a good one at that.
Before graduating from Carroll College, Kaileigh was a role model for many of the younger students.
But for five of those girls she was more than just a mentor, she was their friend.
Samantha Smith, Renee Tyrrell, Mikaela Eltherington, Holly Beckett and Sam Law were devastated by the loss of their “smiling angel.”
“She lit up a room,” said Renee.
“She was a beautiful girl who was always smiling and loved life.
These grade twelve students have joined thousands worldwide to complete Kaileigh’s list.
Forming the Smiling Angels Project, the girls hope to raise $250, 000 in the next 18 months to fund Kaileigh’s biggest dreams.
That is to volunteer overseas, make a difference and to open an orphanage.
The money will go towards the building and opening of the orphanage in a northeastern province in South Africa as well as their travels there and back.
“Our goal right now is to raise the funds to travel as a group in December 2015 to Kwazulu Natal, one of the poorest areas in the country” the girls explain.
“Once we get there we will be building and establishing an orphanage for children who have been orphaned due to and/or are otherwise affected by the HIV/AIDS virus.
“There are over 5,600,000 reported cases a year of HIV/AIDS in South Africa and over 130,000 fatalities due to it,” they worry.
Despite some negative feedback and concerns for their safety, Renee, Sam, Mikaela, Holly and Samantha say, “we have done a lot of growing up since we lost Kaileigh and our plan is to make a difference in her honour.”
Also checking off the goal to “make a difference” is number 15 on the list, to give blood.
Proving to be one of the more popular items on Kaileigh’s list, the Red Cross Blood Service think it may be Kaileigh’s greatest legacy.
Seeing a spike in interest from young people wanting to donate blood, they have noticed, “young women, especially, have stepped up to Kaileigh’s challenge.”
“The blood bank that visited Batemans Bay after the funeral recorded a record number of donations,” the Red Cross shared.
With number 50 on the list left blank, the family wants people to fill it with what they feel appropriate.
“Don’t think of what Kaileigh would want to do, but what Kaileigh would want you to do.”
The driver of the vehicle, that cut Kaileigh’s life short, will appear in Manly Local Court on Thursday, July 17, where the Fryer family will seek justice for their “beautiful girl”.
If you would like to show your support, visit the Facebook page In Memory of Kaileigh Fryer or The Smiling Angels Project and head to http://www.mycause.com to donate.