Amanda McGrath, beloved daughter of Kevin McGrath and Sallie Connell, passed away on June 14, 2020 from complications due to an epileptic seizure.
Born on November 24, 1998 in Atlanta, Amanda attended Alpharetta Elementary School & Hopewell Middle School. Even as a little girl Amanda had the best laugh. It bubbled up from deep inside her, as if she couldn’t contain her joy. Everyone who heard it had to laugh with her.
Amanda was fortunate to have access to a number of wonderful programs for people with special needs. While in Georgia she played 10 seasons of T-Ball with North Metro Miracle League where she made many special friends. She was a Girl Scout in Troop 10513, enjoyed therapeutic riding lessons with Dream Power Equestrian Center and spent happy summers at FOCUS’ Camp Hollywood.
In 2015 she moved to Matunuck, Rhode Island with her family to be closer to her grandparents. She graduated from South Kingston High School in 2017. Her family took her to Disneyland that summer to celebrate.
The Disney parks and movies meant a lot to Amanda. She visited Disney World nineteen times. Amanda loved music and the High School Musical movies. Once, while at Disney World in 2008, she was able to dance along with the High School Musical parade.
Amanda and her family moved to Denville, New Jersey in 2018. Amanda attended Central Park School, where she earned a post graduate certificate in 2020. She spent her spare time playing on her IPad and watching YouTube videos, much like anyone else her age.
Throughout her life, at every school she attended, Amanda was fortunate to be supported by dedicated caring teachers, aides, therapists and other helpers. Despite her many challenges, Amanda had a rich and fulfilling life, surrounded by her loving family and friends.
She is survived by her parents, her sister Danielle, and her grandfather, Bill McGrath. She also leaves behind an extensive extended family including a paternal great aunt and uncle and a maternal great aunt as well as twelve uncles and aunts and twelve cousins. Memorial donations to Families Of Children Under Stress (FOCUS) in Atlanta, Georgia are appreciated. Donations can be made on-line at https://focus-ga.org/ or mailed to 3825 Presidential Pkwy, #103, Atlanta, GA 30340.
For those who have asked:
We will not be holding a funeral or memorial for Amanda. The people who knew and loved her are scattered across the country. If you would like to celebrate her life, please make a donation in her memory to a charity that supports families of children with special needs.
If you do not know of one, please consider Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS) in Georgia. We were fortunate to have FOCUS in our lives for the 16 years that Amanda lived in the Atlanta area. During her early years, they helped us navigate this rough terrain and connected us with other families. FOCUS volunteers visited us, bringing chocolate and necessities, while we sat in the hospital during and after Amanda’s many surgeries.
FOCUS gave us support, but it also gave us a chance to feel like a “normal” family by providing us opportunities to go places and be with other families like ours, not to be looked at with curiosity or pity. FOCUS & Fragile Kids held holiday parties, trips to the zoo and inclusive summer day camps. They even provided Amanda with an adaptive bicycle so that she could ride bikes with the neighborhood kids! Donations can be made on-line at https://focus-ga.org/ or mailed to 3825 Presidential Pkwy, #103, Atlanta, GA 30340.
Thank you to everyone who has donated already. Hopefully together we can help provide the same sense of care and inclusion to other families in Amanda’s memory. ️