family-of-katie-meyer-says-‘we-need-to-heal’-ahead-of-memorial-for-late-stanford-soccer-captain

Family and friends of star Stanford University goalkeeper Katie Meyer are expected to gather at a high school stadium in her California hometown Saturday evening ahead of the 22-year-old’s memorial service.

The soccer player died by suicide in a campus residence earlier this month.

Her parents, Steve and Gina Meyer, described their daughter as “a bright light in our lives and the lives of so many” in a statement to NBC News ahead of the memorial.

“Her light will continue to shine through the changes that we intend to accomplish in her honor,” they said. “We are very grateful for the generous outpouring of support for Katie and our family and thank you all deeply.”

Steve and Gina said that when “the time is appropriate, we will provide further information regarding the desired and necessary change to prevent this tragedy from happening to other students and their families.”

In the meantime, they’re both asking “that everyone respect our family’s privacy and give us the time we need to heal.”

Katie was a senior from Newbury Park, California majoring in international relations major with a history minor. She was also the captain of the women’s soccer at Stanford and a resident assistant on campus.

In the 2021 season, she played in all 20 of Stanford’s matches as the Cardinal finished fourth in the Pac-12 conference and advanced to postseason play before it bowed out to a local rival, Santa Clara University.

Last Friday, Steve and Gina told NBC’s “Nightly News” during an emotional interview that they had no indication she was struggling with her mental health when they spoke to her just hours before her death.

“She had a lot going on but she seemed happy,” Gina said. “We’re struggling to know what happened and why it happened.”

“We’re so heartbroken,” she said while wearing Katie’s vintage Stanford soccer sweatshirt. “Every mom it’s going to understand this, but when you smell it, it smells like her. It smells like Katie… . I just want to be close to her.”

Katie’s memorial service will be held at 6:30 pm PST in Newbury Park High School Stadium.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

Nicole Acevedo is a reporter for NBC News Digital. She reports, writes and produces stories for NBC Latino and NBCNews.com.

Hayley Walker

contributed

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