WSLS 10 | Tim Ciesco
She says the week before the crash, Angela had to give a persuasive speech to her class -- and did one on the importance of being an organ donor.
"As soon as they told me she was brain dead and I was able to grasp that, I told them she wants to be an organ donor."
Angela's organs helped save the lives of three people -- a point Vanlear likes to drive home as she now spends her time advocating for organ donation.
"I tell Angela's story and how much her giving this gift of life has brought us comfort and peace as a family," said Vanlear. "She wasn't going to take her organs with her, so why not save someone?"
Sunday, she spoke at a special ceremony in Vinton meant to commemorate and thank the newest group of donor families. It's an annual event organized by LifeNet Health, which oversees all organ donations in Virginia.
In 2011, LifeNet worked with 127 families statewide on organ donations -- each one, they say, whose choice helped save lives.
No one knows that better than 17-year-old Madison Shinaberry, who also spoke at the ceremony. At one point in her young life, a doctor told her if she didn't get a new lung she might only have six months to live. In 2009, she received a lung transplant -- and today, she's better than ever.