NKY cheerleader who died suddenly felt ill at competition, school official says

Community mourns loss of teen

FORT THOMAS, KY (FOX19) - A northern Kentucky community continues to mourn the loss of a middle schooler who died suddenly Saturday.

Eighth grade student Lilliana Schalck passed away suddenly while in Columbus for a cheerleading competition, Fort Thomas Independent Schools Athletic Director Kevin Nieporte said.

Schalck was a Highlands High School and Premier Athletics NKY cheerleader.

Nieporte said Schalck began feeling ill while at the competition and her father took her to an emergency room where he says she complained of pain in her pelvis and said her hand went numb.

He said her health quickly deteriorated once in the emergency room.

It’s still unknown what caused Schalck’s sudden and tragic death.

A vigil and a prayer service were scheduled Sunday to honor Schalck’s life.

“It is with such sadness that I inform you that we have lost an eighth-grade student. Lilliana Schalck passed away suddenly yesterday,” Fort Thomas Independent Schools superintendent Karen Cheser wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.

The prayer service was scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday with the vigil following at 6 p.m. at the Highlands Middle School gym.

“She is beloved by so many and we know our students and staff will need help through the grieving process,” Cheser wrote.

“Tonight one of the kids, during our vigil was saying how Lilliana was one of the first people in the lobby, greeting people. She didn’t know what they’d do without her. I said, do what she did -- be there and show that support to others,” said Highlands Middle School Principal Michael Howton.

School officials say community support was widespread during the events Sunday.

“All the cheer squads were here, we had cheerleaders from the middle, high school, staff, other families just to show support.” said Howton.

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That love and support was displayed online as well. All day Sunday, messages appeared from cheer groups from around the area sending prayers and love to Lilliana’s loved ones.

“This is one of those times we say look to your left and right -- put your hand, your arm around the person next to you. Give them that love, that support over these next few days, because that’s the way we’re gonna heal and move forward is together,” said Howton.

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