A heartbroken couple has spoken of their devastation at the loss of “the most perfect daughter anyone could ever wish for”.
Emma and Jon Wright’s daughter Lily, 6, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, Paediatric Chordoma, last year.
Her diagnosis sparked a host of fundraising and awareness raising activities for childhood cancer charities in the name of #teamlily until her death on November 7.
On Monday, a funeral procession, led by a white horse-drawn carriage, began at Lily’s home in Tilney All Saints and quietly paused outside the village primary school she attended.
A display of posters painted by her friends could be seen attached to the school’s barrier, with one saying “sleep tight Lily”.
As the cortège continued through the village, members of the community lined the road, clapping for the youngster who had touched the hearts of many.
Mrs Wright said she and her husband were “living every parent’s worst nightmare” and thanked the community for its support.
She said: “The community coming together helped us make memories with Lily and let Lily know how amazing and brave she really was.
“Everyone has been so supportive to me and Jon, there are so many people we wish to thank – anyone who has supported Team Lily and everyone who has gone out of their way to be there for us and Lily.”
She added she wanted to thank Sarah Merritt: “Who was there with me the day Lily was born and came to be with me the day Lily died. She is the most wonderful friend.”
During her gruelling cancer treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Lily met Rachel Spencer, 5, of Bedfordshire.
She is battling Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a particularly rare and aggressive form of blood cancer.
The girls quickly developed a special bond and “played shops”.
“I think Lily and Rachel’s battle with cancer together has really touched people’s hearts,” said Mrs Wright.
“Rachel’s mum, Hannah Spencer, has been a rock to me and Jon and managed to compose and read Lily’s memories during her funeral.”
The two families have been raising money for Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG).
Speaking about their daughter, Mrs Wright said: “Lily was funny, caring and incredibly popular at nursery and school.
“She never complained during her cancer battle and we have so many memories we will cherish and are so grateful she gave us the best six years of our lives.”
To make a donation, visit the organisation’s Facebook page or see www.cclg.org.uk