Lily Douglas’s heartbroken dance teacher launches fundraiser to help teen’s tragic family

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Lily Douglas’ heartbroken dance teacher has launched a fundraiser to help the tragic teen’s family celebrate her life.

The late teen’s mother, Jane, shared the news that she had “danced her way to heaven” in a social media post on Sunday, January 23.

Lily, from Perth, had been battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that affects the bones or the tissue around the bones, since 2017.

The 14-year-old was set to begin a groundbreaking drug trial at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle on Friday 14 January.

However, Lily suffered a brain hemorrhage shortly beforehand and the doctors were unsure if she would survive the following night.

Lily opened her eyes on Sunday and was able to chat with her mom, eat and check her phone
Lily opened her eyes on Sunday and was able to chat with her mom, eat and check her phone

Despite being able to open her eyes, talk to her mother, eat, and check her phone on Sunday, she passed away at 7:17 p.m. that day.

Now, Lily’s dance teacher and family friend, Erin McNicol, has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses.

She wrote: “My name is Erin, I am Lily’s dance teacher and family friend, and I am once again asking for everyone’s help!

“[On] On Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 7:17 p.m. our beautiful girl danced to heaven.

“Lily was battling Ewing’s Sarcoma and has fought incredibly hard for almost 5 years.

Lily was a champion dancer.
Lily was a champion dancer.

“Her strength and determination were impeccable, she radiated light and positivity at all times and she was so unapologetically brave!

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“I’m here to ask you to help us give Lily the celebration of her life that she deserves.

“I would love to raise as much as physically possible to help Jane and her family through this terrible time so they don’t have to worry about money and don’t have that financial burden.”

Erin Lily said
Erin said that Lily “radiated light”

The teenager’s bravery was recognized when she was crowned Teenager of Courage at the Pride of Scotland Awards last year.

Lily also caught the attention of celebrities like Lewis Capaldi, with whom she shared the stage at TRNSMT 2019.

They were also later featured in a TikTok video after striking up a friendship on Instagram.

Celebrities, many of whom Lily had become friends with over the years, wrote tributes to her after her passing.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Arlene Phillips had become a good friend of the family and paid her respects on Instagram.

Lily Douglas and Lewis Capaldi at TRNSMT
Lily Douglas and Lewis Capaldi at TRNSMT

She wrote: “No words can express the way I feel tonight, only love and loss as Lily Douglas passed away in the arms of her beautiful mama Jane.

“My heart goes out to Jane and Lily’s brother Leon, her family and everyone who loved her.

“I was lucky enough to be one of those who knew her and I cherish the times I spent with her and I will keep her beautiful smile in my heart.

“Bless you, dear Lily. We will miss you so much.”

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Fellow dancer Amy Dowden wrote: “Heartbroken. What a beautiful girl and dancer! And inspiration! Rest in peace dear xxxxx.”

Lily with proud mum Jane (left) and Dame Arlene Phillips at the Daily Record Pride of Scotland awards
Lily with proud mum Jane (left) and Dame Arlene Phillips at the Daily Record Pride of Scotland awards

Comedian Alan Carr commented, “How awful. Sending you so much love.”

Alesha Dixon shared a photo of Lily on her Instagram Story with the caption, “Beautiful Lily. Rest In Eternal Peace Angel.”

Scottish Love Island winner Paige Turley said: “I’m so sorry. Lily was such a beautiful soul.”

“Sending a lot of love to you guys right now.”

Scots Love Island contestant Shannon Singh added: “Sending you all lots of love.”

For his part, Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney led the tributes from the Scottish Government.

He tweeted: “Heartbreaking news this morning. My deepest condolences to Lily’s family and friends.

“A light in all our lives.”

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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