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Congressman Sean Casten with his daughters Gwen, left, and Audrey walk through the United States Capitol on January 4, 2019. (Photo: Chicago Tribune via Getty Images)
Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) has shared more information about the death of his 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, revealing that she died in her sleep.
The congressman’s office said in a short tweet on Monday that Gwen died that morning. The Downers Grove Police Department said it was called to a home in suburban Chicago just before 7 a.m., where the teenager was found unconscious, and first responders determined she was dead , reported the Chicago Tribune.
In a long statement on WednesdayCasten said there were “no words to describe the hole in your heart when a child dies”.
“Sunday night we had dinner with the family and then she went out for a few hours with friends. When she got home she said goodnight to Kara and me, texted a friend to make sure that she came home safe and didn’t wake up Monday morning,” he wrote.
“The only thing we know about his death is that it was peaceful. And the only lesson we can take from it is to savor the moments you have with your loved ones. We want a goal We want to believe in a better future, but the only thing we can control is our present.
Casten said her daughter was a “happy, healthy, well-adjusted young woman” who was looking forward to starting her freshman year at the University of Vermont, where she planned to study environmental science.
She was passionate about music and activism. She played trumpet in the jazz band, wind ensemble and pit orchestra at Downers Grove North High School.
After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, Gwen was inspired to start an empowerment club at her high school, which has grown into one of the biggest clubs in school, “se focusing on everything from gun violence prevention to environmental protection, LGBTQ alliance and organizing Black Lives Matter is rallying to get students to vote,” Casten wrote.
According to Gwen’s Twitter bio, she was also a co-founder of the Illinois chapter of March For Our Lives, the student movement born after the Parkland shootings that fights to end gun violence.
Casten’s note was signed by himself, his wife, Kara, and their 14-year-old daughter, Audrey.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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