"She was this crazy girl, like putting on her ballet costume with multicolored high tops and dancing in the living room," Christine recalls.
Danielle Marceline's mother, Christine Marceline, remembers her daughter as a young woman with enormous skill and an even larger heart. Danielle drowned earlier this month, one day before her 18th birthday, per PEOPLE. The grieving mother shares that the two of them were in Florida for a "girls' getaway weekend" on December 4, Danielle turned 18. "She was just absolutely beautiful," Christine says. "I mean, she had so much charisma and everything. It was just unbelievable how touched people were."
Danielle, a student at Catholic Central High, was a dancer and participated in high school volleyball and travel basketball since she was in the sixth grade. Danielle had an "overpowering personality" that Christine shares "came out at home," despite the fact that she appeared to be introverted. "She was this crazy girl, like putting on her ballet costume with multicolored high tops and dancing in the living room," Christine recalls. "She didn't even play with toys. She just danced."
Danielle "had a huge heart" and was incredibly devoted to her pals. "Especially with girl stuff, there was no boy or anyone that was going to make her disloyal to her friends," Christine explains. "She was very loyal to the people she cared about. She didn't have a large social network of girlfriends, but she had a core friend, and that core friend was very important to her."
She was also not afraid to retaliate if somebody tried to treat her or anyone else unfairly. Danielle "didn't put up with it," according to her mother, when she observed somebody being picked on, "especially if somebody was in special education." Danielle, however, was secretly battling social anxiety, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. Christine explains that "coming back to school and that environment, [it] was incredibly hard for her." Danielle had "anxiety of being in a large crowd," her mom explains. "So I don't think that people realized that."
A GoFundMe established for Danielle's family by Zoe Hunter has received donations totaling almost $40,000. Christine claims that before it got some popularity online, neither she nor her immediate family knew that GoFundMe had been established to assist them. But when they looked it up, the family "could not believe" what they saw. "When we saw this … it really did feel like all of this support is just holding us up," the mom says. "It was holding my husband and me up because all we wanted to do was just collapse because we just were overcome with grief."
As Christine and her family deal with the "overwhelming" loss, they are grateful for the assistance they have received from friends and even strangers. "It's so hard to believe," she says. "We just feel like we're in someone else's life or a nightmare we're waiting to wake up from."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe