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‘She danced her way to heaven’: Perth girl Lily Douglas, 14, dies after inspirational cancer battle

Lily Douglas
Perth teenager Lily Douglas died on Sunday.

A Perth teenager who became an inspiration to thousands of people during a five-year battle with cancer has died at the age of 14.

Lily Douglas passed away at her home on Sunday, surrounded by her family.

Mum Jane broke the news on Facebook, where people across the world have followed her progress in recent years.

She wrote: “My beautiful baby girl danced her way into heaven at 7.17 tonight.”

Jane added: “She is at peace and finally in no more pain.”

My beautiful baby girl danced her way to heaven at 7.17 tonight her heart failed but she was on the sofa at home cuddled…

Posted by Jane Douglas on Sunday, 23 January 2022

Lily was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, aged nine, with locals rallying to fundraise on her behalf to support her and her family.

But she became a familiar face for many thanks to her own fundraising, and was invited to switch on Perth’s Christmas lights in 2019.

A keen ballet, tap and street dancer, she was also invited to audition for Scottish Ballet – and was able to meet some of the dancers and join them on stage.

The experience was then included in a BBC Scotland documentary.

Her story reached far and wide, and she received backing from celebrities including Lewis Capaldi and David Walliams – while Dame Arlene Phillips even mentioned Lily’s bravery during an interview on her exit from I’m a Celebrity, having earlier presented her with a Pride of Scotland award.

The teenager also raised money for NHS charities – inspired by Sir Captain Tom Moore – and won awards.

Lily pictured five years ago with mum, Jane, and brother Leon.
Lily pictured five years ago with mum, Jane, and brother Leon.
Lily experiencing her dream to dance with the Scottish Ballet.
Lily experiencing her dream to dance with the Scottish Ballet.

In 2019 it was revealed how Lily’s cancer was not growing but by 2021 it had spread further.

Earlier this month, Lily travelled to England for for treatment at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle.

Sadly, just a week into the treatment, her condition worsened.

Mum Jane has also thanked well-wishers who have backed Lily over recent years.

She wrote: “Thank you all for your love and support, I could not have done this without you all.”

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Phillips is among the thousands of people to have paid tribute to Lily following her death.

She shared a photo with Lily on Instagram and wrote: “No words can express the way I feel tonight only love and loss that @lilydouglas_official passed away in the arms of her beautiful mummy Jane.

“My heart goes out to Jane and lily’s brother Leon and to her family and all those that loved her.

“I was lucky to be one of those that knew her and I treasure the times I spent with her and will hold her beautiful smile in my heart.

“Bless you darling Lily. You will be so missed.”

‘Such a beautiful young lady’ – Shirley Ballas

A host of other celebrities have passed on their condolences on Instagram.

Comedian Alan Carr said: “How awful. Sending you so much love.”

Influencer Molly-Mae Hague wrote: “My heart has broken. Fly high beautiful Lily, what a truly special girl you were.”

Current Strictly judge Shirley Ballas posted: “RIP I’m so sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful young lady.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has also joined the tributes.

He posted on Twitter: “Heartbreaking news this morning.

“My deepest sympathy to Lily’s family and friends. A light in all of our lives.”

Meanwhile Perth and Kinross Provost Dennis Melloy said: “It was absolutely heartbreaking to learn about Lily’s passing this weekend.

Lily’s courage and dignity was inspiring, and she brought joy and light into the lives of so many people

Perth Provost Dennis Melloy

“I was honoured to switch on the Christmas lights in Perth with Lily in 2019.

“She was the star of the show that night, and rightly so.

“Lily’s courage and dignity was inspiring, and she brought joy and light into the lives of so many people, not just in Perth and Kinross but the entire country.

“My deepest sympathies go out to Lily’s mum Jane, her brother Leon and the rest of her family at this difficult time.”

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