Family, friends remember 'silent victim' of mall shooting
CLACKAMAS, Ore. - Family and friends will attend a memorial service Saturday for a woman who became mysteriously ill after the Clackamas Town Center shooting and died earlier this month.
Vanessa Ogden, 29, was working at the mall when a gunman opened fire on Tuesday, Dec. 11. She protected customers and coworkers by leading them to the back of the clothing store where she was a manager.
In the weeks following the shooting, she started to withdraw and stopped speaking. She became known as the shooting's "silent victim." An MRI revealed she had suffered 60 to 70 mini-strokes.
Despite her condition, Vanessa gave birth to a daughter, Georgia, on Dec. 27. Vanessa and her husband also have another daughter who is 16 months old.
Vanessa died on Feb. 15.
A memorial was planned for Saturday afternoon. Family and friends will also honor Vanessa by wearing Toms shoes, Vanessa's favorite brand.
"Oh she would be so excited," said Vanessa's friend Shanna Davis. "She really loved the shoes."
Davis and her husband planned to unite those who love and miss Vanessa by asking them to wear Toms to the memorial.
"Shanna and I have both posted on [Facebook] wear your Toms this week. Wear your Toms to the funeral," said Geoff Davis.
"Vanessa would not want us to be sad or to all wear black and mourn," Shanna Davis said. "I just know that she's looking down on us and [saying] 'Yeah, that's right you all have Toms now.'"
Shanna and Geoff introduced Vanessa to her husband, Doug. Shanna said it was the intersection of philanthropy and fashion that turned Vanessa on to Toms shoes, which gives a pair of shoes to a child in need with every pair purchased.
Shanna and Geoff said word of their plan reached Toms, and someone with the company may be at Saturday's memorial. The company mailed a specially-designed pair of shoes for Vanessa's daughter Georgia to wear.
"She's literally on our feet walking with us, traveling with us and seeing the things that we're seeing from now on," said Shanna Davis.
"It's something that's so horrible and so devastating," said Geoff Davis. "It's the good that comes out of it. To see the people come together for each other.
"It's something that is completely unexpected, but it's what gets you through. It's what makes you think that there's hope in this world."