Emma Smith’s family holds celebration of life Saturday

Saturday's ceremony pays tribute to 12-year-old Saanich girl who lost her battle with cancer

Emma Smith died on June 21 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Emma Smith died on June 21 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

The family and friends of Emma Smith have organized a celebration of life for Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Cloverdale Traditional School (3427 Quadra St.).

Smith died on June 21, less than two months shy of her 13th birthday. The family held a private funeral shortly thereafter and is now inviting the public to the celebration of life, as they recognize what an impact Smith had on the community, and vice versa.

“We hope this will be a good time to reflect on and celebrate Emma’s life with her many friends in a place that she absolutely loved,” said Emma’s father, Darrell, who survives Emma with her mom, Diane, and brother Charlie, 10.

There is no need to dress formally, Darrell added, though Emma would have loved a colourful display.

“Emma faced her challenges with dignity and bravery, a wicked sense of humour and a continued concern for the well-being of others rather than herself,” said Darrell.

Smith’s death came nearly four years after her initial diagnosis of brain cancer on Oct. 1, 2012. Despite successful radiation and a diagnosis of remission, the cancer returned and spread to her spine, ultimately proving fatal.

In lieu of flowers, the Smith family has asked the community to donate to Ronald McDonald House (https://goo.gl/fAhy8j), where she spent a lot of time during her last four years, or Help Fill A Dream (https://goo.gl/CS6DVF).