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UPDATE: [Funeral] Where Lilies Grow

Lily Anderson started a new journey Saturday night. Thousands will miss this precious little one who brought so much courage to all of us. But this isn't goodbye...it's a chance to grow. Lily wouldn't have it any other way.

UPDATE: 12-18-12, 1:50 a.m. (Funeral arrangements)

Lily's Obituary:

Lillian Kate Anderson, 11, of Cumming, earned her angel wings on Dec. 15, 2012 at her home surrounded by her family. Born in Atlanta she was the daughter of Joel and Jennifer Anderson.

Lily was a sixth grader at Vickery Creek Middle School. She was a cheerleader and loved to sing. She was fearless, outgoing and beautiful. She was a perfect girl who never met a stranger.

She provided light to all around her and an inspiration to the world!

In addition to her parents, Lily is survived by her sister, Audrey Marlene Anderson, age 5, and her grandparents, Michael and Marlene Tallant and Jim and Kay Anderson.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at McDonald and Son Funeral Home & Crematory located at 150 Sawnee Drive in Cumming.

Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the StoneCreek Church in Milton.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her honor to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Condolences may be expressed online at McDonald and Son.

Original Article: 12-17-18, 10:35 a.m.

If anyone knows how to grow where she's planted, it's Lily Anderson. She found her footing in the ultimate garden on Saturday night, Dec. 15, with the support of an entire county and beyond that walked alongside Lily through her long battle with cancer. 

Eleven-year-old Lily fought neuroblastoma cancer with a vigor that can only be described as one that endures for the rest of us. From the moment of her diagnosis in 2009, it was game-on for Lily and her family. The term "Anderson Power" quickly became a household name around Forsyth County. As residents rallied to support the fight, Lily became a celebrity. She sang the National Anthem at a Braves game, she became the honorary captain of the West Forsyth High School football team, and she garnered a Facebook following of more than 17,000 fans.

But like all great public figures, Lily has decided to move on to even greener pastures--ones where the weeds of cancer are non-existent.

Funeral arrangements are being scheduled and will be announced as details become available.

In the meantime, friends remember their favorite "Lily" moments as they are tasked to keep growing where they are planted until the next time they can see her.

"I remember the first time I met Lily years ago," says close family friend, Kerry Howard. "I was thinking 'oh my gosh, she's the cutest thing I've ever seen. To be around Lily was like watching a Broadway show. When the curtains went up, you just couldn't stop looking. She was just... jaw dropping."

Such sentiments as Kerry Howard's come as no surprise. Lily's love and talent for singing touched everyone from her nursing staff and friends to complete strangers.

"I remember Lily belting out 'The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow' like no one was listening,” says another close family friend, Fran Marty. "That song certainly has a new meaning for me today. The legacy Lily has left us will be one of faith, hope and love. I personally, will never be the same."

"Lily lived a life no child should have to experience. She was forced to face a battle with cancer," adds Marty. "The Anderson Family faced each and every day with faith, hope, and love by opening their journey to all of us. We all were able to take these inspirational steps with Lily. She was a giver always, and she gave us her songs with no hesitation. She gave her time to help raise money for childhood cancer and she provided help to other families facing the same. Lily allowed us to share her world through her battle and triumphs, like the time she described her progress in treatment exclaiming, 'I made millions of stem cells today!'”

Teachers and students also formed an army of loving support during Lily's battle.

"Saturday was a sad day for all of us at Hopewell. We lost this poor child and now we need her legacy to live on. But everyone can rest at night and know that this delicate soul is not hurting anymore, for she is with God and all of His glory. Now Lily has the freedom to do whatever she wants and not feel the constant pain of her disease. We just pray that she, alongside God, will hold her family and help them get through the pain of her loss. Rest in Peace little angel! We all loved you and we will miss you so very much."  --Hopewell Middle School.

Lily attended school at Vickery Creek Middle School where students have created a memorial for visitors to leave flowers and notes.

"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," says Principal Kathy Rohacek. "On Monday, Dec. 17, we will have additional counselors on hand to assist our students and staff. Lily fought hard against a type of cancer, but she will be remembered for her sweet smile, her love of singing and her bravery throughout her illness." 

The Anderson family is taking the time needed to privately support each other through this most difficult transition. Please visit Lily's Facebook page to add your comments and join the community of strength and "Anderson Power" as friends and loved-ones express their condolences and prayers.

Please join Lanterns for Lily, an event that has spread as far as Europe to show love and hope to Lily and her family.

And remember, you need only to plant a Lily in the right place to watch it grow. Sometimes, that determination is best made by a higher power, and in Lily's case that power is God. The Anderson's faith has remained steadfast through Lily's battle and for this, they are well equipped, to make Lily proud as she watches over them. 

Growth is exponential. Nobody knows this better than Lily and those who continue to love her.

Share your favorite Lily moment(s) below in comments.


You might also be interested in reading:

One Tough Lily

Taking Down A Mountain

patsy peterson December 17, 2012 at 04:34 PM
you are a true hero to all who knew you and the people who have never met you
Ben Daily December 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Great tribute to Lily Anderson. She fought so hard for so long and really set an example on how to live life to the fullest whatever your circumstances. She'll be missed by so many people, but what what a legacy she has left us!
Random Honor Student March 21, 2013 at 04:31 AM
Such a bright light shining briefly in this world, now in the hearts of many forever. I'm so sorry the world lost such a sweet little angel. Lily, I know that you are peaceful in heaven. God bless the impact she had on the world. Let us find a cure for cancer if it be thy will. Amen.

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