CUMMING, Ga. — Lily Anderson was a girl with beautiful voice, a sweet smile and an equally wonderful heart.
Late Saturday, Dec. 15, she died. She was 11 and had been battling stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer for the last three years.
At her school, Vickery Creek Middle School Principal Kathy Rohacek immediately issued a statement through the school’s website.
“She will be remembered for her sweet smile, her love of singing and her bravery throughout her illness,” said Rohacek. “Many of our students knew Lily and they will miss her very much.
“At times like this it is often hard to know how to help our children understand the passing of a classmate,” Rohacek said.
On Monday, Dec. 17, additional Forsyth County school counselors were on hand to assist students and staff at Vickery Creek Middle.
The sixth-grader’s favorite color was lime, Lily thought peace signs were really cool and she enjoyed riding dirt bikes with her father, Joey.
Some knew her personally, while her journey touched the entire West Forsyth County community. The day before she passed, West Forsyth High School basketball team had lanterns out and wore pink and green in honor of Lily.
Others in the community also pitched in to help the family along.
Last year, her fight was highlighted to a national audience when she performed a rousing rendition of the National Anthem at Turner Field in Atlanta.
Singing the National Anthem
She had a great friendship with Braves catcher J.C. Boscan, who is now with the Cubs’.
Lily was diagnosed in Sept. 10, 2009, in the form of a large tumor in her abdomen. Testing continued to reveal her cancer had spread to other parts of her body. Doctors determined Lily would have to undergo a long treatment process involving chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
She never complained, said those close to family.
She inspired millions of people along the way and her Facebook page had about 17,200 likes.
Over the last few weeks, her condition took a turn for the worse. She died peacefully at 11:25 p.m., her family said in a statement.
“She let go and is now soaring with the angels,” the statement said. “Lily passed away in an incredibly peaceful way and is no longer in pain, nor does she have to fight anymore.
As much as we all would love to have her around for even one more day, we all realize how many lives Lily touched and know she will live within all of us forever.”
See funeral arrangements below.
In addition to her father, Joey, she is survived by her mother, Jennifer and sister, Audrey.