WHEATON, IL — When you look at photos of Meghan Liddy, you first notice that the 25-year-old had a contagious smile that could not be narrowed down, much as her passion for helping others could not be in her Hometown Wheaton included. Liddy had traveled to Africa several times to do missionary work there before moving there in 2012, the Daily Herald reports, and was in Ghana to adopt two young girls when she contracted malaria and eventually died from complications of the disease.

Liddy's family had started a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring her home for treatment. Now they are working on getting their bodies home so they can be buried near their family.

On Halloween, despite the malaria diagnosis, Liddy appeared in a good mood when she posted a post on Facebook inviting her friends and family to send "good humor and prayers and whatever else you get." According to the GoFundMe site, Meghan was quickly put on a respirator just a few days after this post because of malaria complications leading to sepsis and pulmonary embolism.

She had lost her battle with the disease on Friday, according to an update from Liddy's aunt, Trisha Hume-Steele, published online. Hume-Steele wrote: "My heart is broken, my sweet Meghan Liddy went to Jesus, her precious children were with her, she was surrounded by her love."

During her life, Liddy's work touched many more people than the two girls, ages 8 and 11, and the boy she cared for. She co-founded Family First in Ghana to help families with children with disabilities. The Facebook page of this organization contains a quote from an African proverb that seems to speak to Liddy's lifelong mission: "Children are the reward of life."

By Monday, the campaign to raise money for Liddy's funeral had surpassed the $ 20,000 target. Her family hopes to bury her in Nebraska with her grandmother. In the update, Hume-Steele asked for more prayers and said, "We're overwhelmed with sadness."

Pictures about GoFundMe; Patch is a GoFundMe partner

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