Becca Lilly

Becca was a fun-loving, sports enthusiast who loved children, her family and friends, and animals. At the age of 10, she was diagnosed with an aggressive Glioblastoma which turned her world, and her family’s world upside down. It went from softball and basketball games to needles and treatments. Becca fought for 6 years, enduring surgeries, related treatments and was the first child to undergo gene therapy for a brain tumor. Her story was chronicled in The Washington Post, with a series of articles that served to give readers a glimpse into one family’s childhood cancer world. 

Throughout her cancer journey, Becca always remained resilient, even when the hard days tried to knock her down. She would encourage others, never waiver in her kindness and would always offer a smile to someone going through a rough time. After Becca passed away in June 1997, her family and friends created Becca’s Run, a community run that took place in Silver Spring, MD for the next 16 years and donated over $500,000 to support research and various cancer organizations. Becca’s fight, strength, and spirit continue on in organizations like the Lilabean Foundation which aims to find a cure so that other children do not have to endure aggressive treatments and so that one day, no parents have to hear the words “Your child has brain cancer”. 

Diagnosis Date:
June 1991

Age at Diagnosis:
10 years old.

Type of Brain Cancer:
Glioblastoma Multiforme

Summary of Treatment:
Becca underwent every major form of cancer treatment at multiple hospitals - five brain surgeries, two kinds of radiation and four combinations of chemotherapy. During a 9-hour operation, she became the first child to receive gene therapy for a brain tumor.

We are so grateful to organizations like the Lilabean Foundation that continue to fundraise to support innovative research and trials to find a cure for childhood brain cancer. -Maureen Lilly

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