When asked her favorite singer, Lily Anderson is quick to respond —Taylor Swift.
The 10-year-old had the chance to emulate the pop icon July 28 when Anderson took to the field at Turner Stadium. She sang the national anthem before the Atlanta Braves played host to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Lily is very excited about it,” said mother Jennifer Anderson before the event. “She wants to be a country singer like Taylor Swift someday.”
While singing during a Braves game would be a great honor for any youngster, it had even more meaning for Lily and her family.
For the past two years, the young Anderson has been fighting a type of cancer known as neuroblastoma.
“She was diagnosed with stage IV when she was 8 back in September of 2009,” her mother said.
The tumor was found behind her liver in her stomach.
Since then, she has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and stem cell transplants, Jennifer Anderson said, noting that Lily is “doing well.”
During treatment, the Andersons became involved with the Rally Foundation, an organization that raises funds to research children’s cancers.
Lauren Flanary, Rally spokeswoman, said Anderson’s opportunity to sing at the game came about through the organization’s relationship with the Braves and many of its players.
“Lily sang Miley Cyrus’ ‘It’s the Climb’ at our Fashion Funds the Cure event at Lennox Mall back in April,” Flanary said. “Some of the players attended that event and heard her sing, so they then invited her to come sing at a game.”
Flanary said the opportunity is a big honor.
“As far as I know, only one other time has someone from our organization gotten the chance to sing at a game,” she said.
Prior to the game, Jennifer Anderson said the family would bring a large cheering section.
“We’re all really excited. She’s got aunts and uncles coming from all over,” she said. “We’ll have about 300 people cheering for her.”