By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Family and friends gathered Saturday at the Green Country Event Center to say goodbye to a little girl taken too soon.

Shuache Moua was one of two students at the Oologah Lower Elementary to die from bacterial meningitis.

Shuache's family says she was shy, but had a sweet smile. The eight-year-old was aggressive on the soccer field, but gentle and nurturing to her seven siblings. Her uncle says she excelled in school too.

"It's hard for all the family members. And relatives and friends that are here together just to basically help with the family to make sure they are okay," said Pao Lee, Shuache's uncle.

Shuache's promising, young life was tragically cut short on March 11th. Her father says she came home from school telling him her feet and head hurt. By the next day, his daughter was gone. Andrew Thomas, 7, died of bacterial meningitis that same day.

"It's tragic. I'm sure it's not just us. It's the other family. It's also the whole community within Rogers County and Tulsa County here. It's a big thing here," said Lee.

In a traditional Hmong ceremony, Shuache's funeral started Saturday morning and will end with her burial on Monday. A drum and bamboo reed played together for Shuache's spirit.

"It starts with the guidance what we call a "qeej." That person will guide the deceased's spirit to God and to the ancestors, making sure they go back to where they came from," said Lee.

Mourners wore pink ribbons. Her uncle says they are a symbol of respect and peace for Shuache's body.

Surrounded by loved ones and photos of the star soccer player, a grieving mother and father say it's their daughter's smile that they will miss the most.

Shuache's family has set up an account in her name. If you would like to make a donation, you can go to any Bank of Oklahoma branch.

A meningitis clinic to vaccinate students and staff from the Oologah-Talala School District was canceled Saturday because of bad weather.

For those who had to wait, a public health nurse will be available Monday through Friday, March 22 through March 26, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Omni Medical Clinic at 13134 Old S. Hwy 169 in Oologah.

For more information concerning vaccine clinics, call the Rogers County Health Department at (918) 341-3166.