Relatives and friends attended a memorial Tuesday for a Bryant University student who died after an apparent allergic reaction to a cookie.
Cameron Groezinger Fitzpatrick, a native of Plymouth, Mass., was 19 years old. His family said in the past few days they've met hundreds of people their son has touched.
The memorial was held at a rink in Plymouth where he used to play hockey.
"He was always about helping others. His heart was so big. He was so full of life," Cameron's mother, Robin Fitzpatrick, told NBC 10 News. "I'm in my 40s and I don't think I could accomplish what this child did in 19 years of life."
Despite her grief Robin Fitzpatrick wants the world to know her son.
"I mean this child was like amazing. Smart and funny and his smile just lit up a room," Fitzpatrick said.
His mother said he was severely allergic to peanuts since age 10.
"All nuts. He had an EpiPen, and he was very responsible. He was a big advocate about asking everywhere he went, 'Is there nuts in this?'" Fitzpatrick said.
Cameron was home Friday, enjoying spring break from Bryant. He died after taking just a few bites of a cookie. He didn't realize it was cooked in peanut oil.
"I never thought you could die from a nut allergy. We just thought once the ambulance came, they would intubate him and he'd be fine. We never thought this, ever," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick and her husband now hope Cameron's death brings awareness to severe nut and other allergies.
"Cameron always said he wanted to save a life on his bucket list. So be your biggest advocate, help save a life even if it's your own," Fitzpatrick said.
The family has set up a fund in Cameron's name to support allergy awareness and provide college scholarships to other kids.
It's something they know Cameron would have wanted.
"He was a stand up guy. He was a standup guy. He went out in style," Fitzpatrick said. "All I can say is, he went out big."
Cameron's parents said the time they realized he was having an allergic reaction, it was too late to use an injector pen.
Those wishing to donate to the Cameron Groezinger Fund can contact Citizens Bank in Plymouth.
The wake for Cameron Groezinger Fitzpatrick is Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at Cartmell Funeral Home. His funeral will be held at St. Peter's Church in Plymouth at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Bryant University said they are planning a service for Cameron when students return to class.
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