Dominique Franco of Park Ridge was on a mission to save the world.
The senior University of Rhode Island nursing major was on track to a career in pediatric oncology. At 17, she launched a fundraiser that collected toys and hundreds of dollars for pediatric cancer patients.
Franco's mission was tragically cut short on Saturday, when she died at 21 years old.
"The girl was out to save the world and make a difference," her mom Gina Franco told The Providence Journal, "and she made a difference in so many people’s lives every day."
President of the university's Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, Franco was described by her sisters as an exemplary leader.
"She was friendly, funny and outgoing, lighting up every room she entered," the organization said in an Instagram post. "The world lost a truly incredible person and she will be extremely missed."
Condolences poured in.
"She was such a positive influence, a wonderful friend & selfless leader," Raechel Bennett Biggs wrote on social media. "I know she will be deeply missed."
"My daughter Jordyn spoke so highly of Dominique and her ability to make everyone feel special and make them feel they were a part of something great," Kristina DeNegre said.
"I will never understand why things like this happen to such beautiful souls. My heart breaks for her family and her friends."
Visitation will be Feb. 21 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Our Lady Mother of the Church in Woodcliff Lake. A Funeral Mass celebrating Dominique's life will be 10:30 a.m. at the church on Friday, Feb. 22.
Donations can be made in Dominique's memory to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.