HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In February, 12-year-old Aaron Masterson from Huntsville died from complications with the flu. His pre-existing cystic fibrosis made the flu symptoms much worse.
Friday, nearly a year later, his friends and teachers are making sure he will never be forgotten, and are doing what they can to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.
You couldn't have seen Aaron in the gym at Huntsville Junior High School, but his friends say he was there.
"Oh he would have loved it, he would have loved every bit of it. He would have smiled the whole time," said eighth-grader Ben Kvach, Aaron's friend since Kindergarten. "He would have thought it was great."
Kvach said Aaron's friends and the student government wanted to turn their sadness of his passing into something good in his memory.
"We missed Aaron a lot, so we decided to step up and try to make a change in the world," he said.
The students conducted a week-long penny drop fundraiser. They worked with the PTA and had matching contributions from four local business.
"Just because he's not here, doesn't mean he's not actually here. Cause he's like watching over us. He was so good to everyone that we just want to like give that back," said eighth-grader Stella Butkis, Aaron's friend.
The $2,500 they raised was presented to Aaron's family, to be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in his honor.
"We appreciate all of the effort, especially for the children who were classmates of Aaron. We just want to say thank you and this is something that has lifted our family up," said Aaron's dad, Don Masterson.