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Schools put aside rivalry to mourn young woman

Posted: 8:48 PM, May 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-17 00:48:16Z

CINCINNATI -- Anna Kroger was 15 years old. She played the flute, loved wearing fun, colorful and was on Mother of Mercy High School's Academic Team.

Two weeks ago, when classmates saw her, she seemed fine.

But school spokeswoman Ellen Daniel said Kroger collapsed with a medical emergency and died suddenly. For many students, it was their first time dealing the the loss of a peer.

"For a lot of the kids, it has been a very hard week," Daniel said. "You're used to seeing people every day -- this is also very sudden, you know. She was here last week and fine."

Support inside the school was immense, but news of Kroger's death spread quickly to other West Side Catholic schools. Seton High School put aside its fierce rivalry with Mercy and wore blue, Mercy's color, as a sign of support.

"We are praying for you guys, and we are here for you," Allie May said. "We're praying. We have all the support, and you know, set everything aside, and we're there for you guys."

For those at Mercy, the support has meant a great deal. Kroger's passing is a terrible reminder of how precious life is.

"You don't know how much time you have, and just to enjoy the moments that you have with your friends and with your classmates and to really enjoy each other," Daniel said.