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Lily’s National Anthem

By / 07.29.11

My job as a sports blogger is to be snarky and judgmental about everything, but earlier today I posted a video of a grateful kid being happy about baseball so I might not have any idea what I’m doing. Looking around for stories to close out the week, I browsed through cheerleader slideshows and BMX failz until I came across Lily Anderson’s performance of the Star-Spangled Banner during Thursday’s “Rally Night” at Turner Field. She has cancer (stage 4 neuroblastoma) and received the longest standing ovation Braves reliver Peter Moylan has ever seen.

I thought to myself, “oh, this would be nice” and figured I’d close out the weekend with that, instead of the NASCAR lady who used to model bikinis.

And then I started looking for a picture for the header.

[Lily] thinks peace signs are really cool, loves turtles and playing with her friends. She loves to ride dirt bikes with her Dad, and looks forward to the weekly Sunday visits with her Grandma and Grandpa. Lime green is her very favorite color and as with most girls her age, clothes are really special; in fact she is often known by her nickname “Style Anderson.”

I browsed through her Facebook fan page to see if there were any high res pictures of her performing at the game. That’s sorta my job. I’ve been on the Internet a long time, and nothing really gets to me. I looked at her wall photos, and down at the bottom is a dimly-lit picture of her in a hospital bed, losing a little bit of her hair, holding a big sign that says “I made millions of stem cells!” She’s smiling so big, and it just sort of hit me, right in the middle of my chest, in the part of the heart that gets the brain’s credit for feeling the weight of things.

I typed something, then deleted it. Stared at the screen. Typed, deleted.

I’m not sure what I want to tell you. Just … show this video to people. “Like” her Facebook fan page, if that matters, and visit her website. Let her know goddamn stupid life is, and how awesome she is for being okay with it. I don’t know how to say it, but I want to, and am going to spend the rest of the day figuring out how.


TAGSATLANTA BRAVESBaseballcancerchildrenINSPIRING STORIESLILY ANDERSONMLBNATIONAL ANTHEMvideo

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