A community in the west-metro area is preparing to say goodbye to Jacob MacDonald, a student athlete who died over the weekend following a severe allergic reaction.
MacDonald, of Cokato, fell ill on Saturday, Sept. 16, and was airlifted to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis with cardiac and lung issues.
The Dassel-Cokato High School student had eaten a cookie containing peanuts at his friend's house, his mother, Bonni Halverson, told KARE 11.
And after fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit for nearly a week, MacDonald passed away on Friday:
There's been an outpouring of support in the community, with friends selling wristbands decorated with the hashtag #MacDonStrong and his football jersey number, 34, in order to raise funds for the family.
A GoFundMe donation page, meanwhile, has garnered over $30,000 to help the teen's parents pay for medical bills and funeral expenses (the fundraiser has a goal of $35k).
On Sunday, his mother announced the funeral arrangements. There's a wake from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and a funeral at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, both at the Holy Trinity Church of Winsted. Supporters are invited to wear navy blue, the color of Jacob's football team:
Since MacDonald's death, there have been a number of tributes, some aimed at raising awareness of food allergies:
Deadly food allergies
Childhood food allergies are on the rise, with research showing the number of impacted kids doubled between 1997 and 2011, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
The numbers are especially alarming with peanut and tree nut allergies. FARE says they appear to have tripled in U.S. children in recent years.
Food allergies kill as many as 200 people a year in America, AllergicChild.com says.