A BELOVED teenage girl’s struggle against an aggressive brain tumour drew tens of thousands of supporters and inspired enormous generosity.

Tributes have flooded in for Lily Wythe following her tragic death on Sunday morning.

Dozens of flowers and messages have been left outside Eastwood Academy, where Lily went to school.


At the time of her death, a fund set up to get the 14-year-old to the United States for lifesaving treatment had reached £300,000.

This surge of goodwill and support stemmed largely from an appeal set up by Lillie Cotgrove, 13, from Benfleet, Lily’s close friend and a fellow pupil at Eastwood Academy.

Her loss is keenly felt by teachers and youngsters at the school.


Lillie Cotgrove with her father

In a statement, the school said: “It is with great sadness that we recently learned of the passing of Lily.

“Her loss marks a very sad day for all those who knew her.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this very difficult time. Rest in peace now brave Lily.”

One Pound Warriors was initially conceived as a school project which invited members to donate at least £1 to Lily’s cause.

But within an hour brave Lily’s story inspired a wave of support from across the country.


Lily in hospital

In the weeks that followed its inception, more than a dozen celebrities, including the likes of Jonathan Ross, Rachel Riley, Steven Gerrard and Thurrock’s Rylan Clark threw their weight behind the campaign.

Billionaire Richard Branson offered to help Lily by giving her flights to Seattle.

Rachel Riley has since paid tribute to Lily on Twitter.


She wrote: "The best side to social media, the worst side to life and love.

"Heartfelt condolences to all friends and family grieving a loved one.

"May Lily’s memory be a blessing."


One little girl donated her €50 of birthday money to Lily while going through cancer treatment herself, while a woman in Spain raffled off her villa to donate cash to the cause.

Closer to home, football clubs, businesses, charities, and schools drew together to give thousands of pounds in the bid to get Lily to the US.

The campaign attracted around 150,000 followers on social media, and it all started with the determination of one 13-year-old girl.

Lillie’s mum Sarah said: “I am very aware there were lots of children watching and waiting who have helped raise funds up and down the country.

“I know this is going to hit them hard.”

"I have my own child to see through this and all I can suggest is something someone told me about tragedies.

“In every tragic and hopeless situation look for the helpers.

“They are there, trying to make things better, in any way they can. You need to focus on them to get you through. And we have 150,000 of them right here.”


Lily and her family