12-yr. old Zachary Reyna of Labelle was buried Saturday, after an emotional funeral service attended by at least 1,000 people. The boy had fought a brain-eating amoeba, but finally succumbed last week. His organs were donated, so that others could live.
"He was such a good kid, a great kid really, into sports, always smiling and having a good time. He will not be forgotten, never," says Isreal DeLeon, a cousin of Zachary's mother.
The boy, known by family and friends as Zac, battled the amoeba for weeks. It was introduced into his system by water in a ditch. His struggles became widely-known through social media. People across the country made comments on Facebook and other outlets, about the courage of Zac and his family.
"It is truly amazing to see how this has touched the hearts of so many people, here and nation-wide. His family is amazing in how they have held together during this situation. It's an example that has touched the Hendry county community, and touched people beyond our borders too," says Capt. Susan Harrelle of the Hendry county sheriff's office.
"It is really sad, but I am glad that his in a better place now, he is not suffering with this awful condition," says David Reyna, a cousin of Zac's father.
The funeral service was held in the gymnasium at Labelle Middle school. Minister Eric Molina recalled Zac's warm eyes and bright smile. He also said that Zac's struggles have changed peoples' lives.
After the funeral service, a procession of vehicles followed the hearse to Fort Denaud Cemetery, where Zachary Reyna was buried.