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Port St. Lucie mother honors daughter who died of asthma attack

Miranda DeOnofrio passed away in 2017 at the young age of 20
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Posted at 4:22 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 18:25:40-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Look closely as you pull into parks in Port St. Lucie you might notice the pinwheels.

They’re a charming touch, but for resident Susan DeOnofrio, they represent her daughter, Miranda.

"Even though she’s not here physically, I feel her presence all the time and I talk about her all the time, and it’s like she never left," said DeOnofrio.

Miranda DeOnofrio was a 20-year-old junior at the University of Central Florida when she passed away in Nov. 2017 after her allergies turned into a fatal asthma attack.

Susan said losing her only child led to roughly a year of grieving before she decided to channel that energy into something else

"How are we gonna turn this around into a positive to bring more awareness to allergies and asthma?" DeOnofrio said.

The answer was the creation of Team Miranda Strong.

DeOnofrio partnered with the city of Port St. Lucie to plant 250 pinwheels throughout parks with information from the Asthma & Allergy Foundation for America.

DeOnofrio keeps the movement going through the scavenger hunt, encouraging people post their photos of the pinwheels to social media

DeOnofrio is also honoring her daughter’s memory through an annual scholarship for a deserving Port St. Lucie High School graduate

City staff members like Gergette Beck of Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful said they’re honored to team up with DeOnofrio.

"I love this lady’s courage that she took something very sad, she took her grief into something that could touch other lives, that could bring beauty to our environment," said Beck.

"I want Miranda to know everything is for her I want her legacy to live on," said DeOnofrio.

To learn more about the Asthma & Allergy Foundation for America, click here.