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Racine mom giving away arm floaties to honor son who drowned

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Losing a young child to drowning is hard to imagine for any parent. But one Racine mom who lost her son is turning her grief into action.

4-year-old Tyrice Creed was with a babysitter at Browns Lake almost a year ago, when he drowned.

His mother Nichole Creed says it broke her heart.

Now she is raising money to buy arm floaties for kids, with plans to give them out to other kids at the beach and keep her son’s memory alive.

“It tore my whole family apart,” said Nichole about the death of her son.

A year after losing Tyrice to drowning, Nichole is finding a way to deal with her grief.

“I can’t say that I haven’t stopped crying, but it has made it easier to think I’m doing something for him and still making him live like we are, to keep his memory alive too,” said Nichole.

Nichole has started a GoFundMe page to raise money, with one purpose in mind.

“I just came up with the idea of just handing out floaties to kids at the beach, on his, I call it 'angelversary,'" said Nichole.

A year to the day she lost Tyrice, Nichole will be back at a beach hoping to make sure it doesn’t happen to another child.

“Not just children in general need to be more safe in the water, but parents, adults overlooking being at the water, if you see a child near or in the water, just keep your eye on them,” said Nichole.

“You turn your back for a second and something could happen,” said Melissa Becker who often brings her two sons down to Browns Lake.

Becker knows how quickly kids can go from having fun to being in danger. Before her 3-year-old heads for the water, he puts on a floatation vest.

“It’s very important because we want him to be safe when he’s out here at the beach,” said Becker.

She says Nichole’s idea will help save lives.

“I think that’s really good, it’s going to raise awareness for water safety, I think that’s great,” said Becker.

As for Nichole, she says a year after her son’s death, it’s important to be at a beach.

“I think telling Tyrice’s story will hopefully open some eyes out there,” said Nichole.

Nichole won’t be at Browns Lake that day, she says it’s just too hard.

She’ll be at North Beach in Racine.

Here is a link to the Go Fund Me page that Nichole has set up to raise money for the floaties.

She plans to do this every year, and expand past arm floaties, she also wants to help pay for swimming lessons for families who can’t afford it.

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