TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Support continues to grow for the family of a local girl who drowned on vacation the day before her 18th birthday. Danielle Marceline’s mother Christine is now opening up about what happened, and her gratitude for the community’s help.

Christine Marceline said she never wants to go to the beach again. What was supposed to be a fun girls’ weekend in Florida with her daughter, turned into a nightmare she can’t wake up from.

Danielle Marceline’s senior portrait

“When I came on that beach and they told me they couldn’t find her, I instantly felt like I was in some movie that I had seen,” Christine said, “like, this can’t be real. This isn’t my life. This cannot be my life.”

Unfortunately, while swimming in the ocean, the water overcame Danielle. Christine said while the ocean pushed her friend, who survived, toward the shore, Danielle was engulfed, and drowned.

“The only thing I can say to parents I guess is, just always hug your children,” Marceline told NEWS10.

Since the tragedy struck the Marceline family, the community has shown up. A GoFundMe for memorial costs far surpassed its goal. Christine said the family is hoping to eventually establish a scholarship fund in Danielle’s name. Multiple schools Danielle attended have held fundraisers.

“It’s just felt like everybody’s arms and hands holding us to stand up, because we were just falling apart,” Christine said.

Danielle’s volleyball portrait taken by her brother, Dante

Tuesday at Jimmy’s Pizzeria in Troy, 10% of all proceeds are going to the family. With word getting out about the fundraiser, they were slammed with orders all day.

“Usually by now, we’re slowing down and getting caught up and getting ready for dinner,” Jimmy’s owner Tony Buchanan told NEWS10 during a lunchtime visit, “but we’re behind the eight ball right now because of the support going on for the family.”

Danielle was a dancer, volleyball player, and remembered as a good friend. Christine, reflecting on Danielle’s life, said while may have appeared outgoing, she was recently struggling with a lot of social anxiety. She believes it would make Danielle happy to know how many classmates and friends are remembering her now.

Danielle’s celebration of life services will take place Saturday December 17 from 1-3 P.M. at Life Church in Latham.