Lilee-Jean Putt, the little girl who captured the hearts of thousands in Chilliwack and beyond, succumbed to brain cancer Friday evening.
According to a statement made by the family on the Love for Lilee Facebook page, the two-year-old died in her mom Chelsey Whittle’s arms, and with her dad Andrew Putt, of Pardon My Striptease, playing his guitar.
“It is with broken hearts we make this post… as of 5:25 p.m., our princess Lilee-Jean Frances Putt, our angel here on earth, is now looking down on us from heaven,” read the statement. “She had a rough day today and is no longer in any distress. She passed away curled up in mommy’s arms, listening to daddy play his guitar.”
A candlelight vigil was held at Salish Park on Saturday evening. Candles, cards, and posters lined the outskirts of the pond.
A vigil was also held in Harrison.
“We are completely overwhelmed by the love for Lilee, and support and love for Andrew and myself,” wrote Chelsey on the Facebook page.
“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for helping Lilee-Jean live on past her days on this earth.”
On Oct. 20, 2011, at just 10 months old, Lilee-Jean was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer.
In an instant, her family went from cherishing typical baby milestones to a world of surgeries, recovery, chemotherapy, and finally Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
This past spring, the family was told they only had months left with their daughter.
And so, in a whirlwind of creating lasting memories, they gave their daughter a first day of kindergarten at Kent elementary in Agassiz, where Andrew had also attended; an early Halloween; an early Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, complete with snow, Santa, carolers, and presents.
While complete details have not yet been determined, a service for Lilee-Jean will be held on Sept. 28, either in Chilliwack or Abbotsford.
The service will be open to the public.
“Lilee has touched lives all over the world,” wrote Chelsey. “Staying true to her life, we have decided that Lilee-Jean’s service will be open to the public, so all of you are invited to come celebrate her incredible two years of life with us.”
For more information, visit the Love for Lilee Facebook page.