CARMICHAEL, CA - The family of a young girl who died after a severe allergic reaction to peanuts is warning the public about the dangers of food allergies.
Natalie Giorgi, 13, died after she accidentally took a bite of a Rice Krispies treat with peanut butter while at Camp Sacramento last Friday night.
Giorgi's uncle Army General Tim McGuire flew into the Sacramento area from Afghanistan and spoke on behalf of his niece's parents.
"I think a lot of people look at it, 'oh, it's an inconvenience,'" General McGuire said. "Rather than, 'wow, this is a potential loaded gun.'"
Loved ones solemnly filed into Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Carmichael for a vigil Thursday night. Many of those in attendance were young kids who went to the parish school with Giorgi, where she was going to be an 8th grader.
Family and friends describe Giorgi as vibrant and full of life and are already feeling her void.
"It's still a shock," teacher Philip Tateishi said. "Even though she was on vacation last week with a lot of OLA families, it's hard on all of us."
Grief counselors have been on hand all week at the church to help kids cope with Giorgi's death.
Father Michael Kiernan met with a group of kids on Sunday.
"The emotions of course there are very, very strong," Father Kiernan explained.
Giorgi's death has already prompted the Elk Grove School District to ban peanut products from school menus.
McGuire said the family is buoyed by the support from the community, but believes more can be done.
"We are hopeful this tragedy, this loss of life, can help serve to educate everyone,"McGuire said.
Grief counselors will continue to be at the church.
A special mass will also be held the Friday after kids go back to school.