Sarah Phillips, 16, Records Amazing Tribute to Raise Money for Cervical Cancer Cure
16-year-old Sarah Phillips recorded Paolo Nutini's "Autumn" on her cell phone in tribute to her mother, Debbie, who died of cervical cancer the next day.
Sarah Phillips, a 16-year-old girl from London, had said her goodbye to her mother, Debbie, on February 9th. Debbie had been fighting cervical cancer for four years, and she knew her days were numbered.
“I said: ‘I love you.’ She just said she wanted me to be happy, but she could not speak very much because her breathing was labored,” Sarah told the Telegraph.
“She was upset by what she would miss – our [her three children’s] weddings, having grandchildren. She would have been an amazing grandmother.”
So that night, as her mother slipped out of consciousness, Sarah decided to pay tribute to the wonderful woman who had raised her with a song: Scottish singer Paolo Nutini’s “Autumn.”
Sarah and her mother were both fans of Nutini’s music, and she thought that the particular song would make a lovely tribute for her mother’s funeral, but she knew that she would be too emotional to sing it then. So that night, she downloaded the song lyrics and recorded her own a capella performance into her cell phone. Her mother passed away the very next day.
When Sarah played her song for her father, he asked a family friend, Charlie Mole, to record an instrumental accompaniment for her beautiful ballad. Then the song was set to footage selected from more than 70 hours of family movies. The video was played for over 400 mourners at Debbie’s funeral.
“She was incredibly selfless – everything she did was for other people,” said Sarah. “I was always very close to my mother and we have always been a close-knit family. I have wonderful memories of us all together.”
Just days after her mother’s funeral, Sarah decided to upload the video to YouTube in hopes of using it to raise money to fight cervical cancer—watch it here.
The Phillips family has set up the Debbie Phillips Cervical Cancer Research Fund as part of the UCL Cancer Research Trust. If you were moved by Sarah’s beautiful tribute, you can make a donation to the fund here.
Filed under: Arts and Culture, Features, General Interest, Health and Wellbeing, Non-Profits,
Liked this? You'll love these, too:
Notes Left Behind: Elena Desserich’s Amazing Gift
Though Elena Desserich died at the age of six, she left behind an amazing gift for her family: a series of hidden love notes. Read More
Positive Stories from the Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting Tragedy
Here are a few signs of hope to come out of the tragic shooting at "Batman Rises" in Aurora, Colorado. Read More
Valentine’s Day Music Videos: Our Favorite Songs of Romance and Regret
In the mood for love, or maybe for wallowing in sadness over a relationship gone wrong? Here are some songs that will help in either case. Read More
Anti-CD47 Drug Proven to Shrink All Tumors in Mice with Cancer
Researchers have successfully stopped the spread of cancer, and even shrunk existing tumors, in animal trials for a promising new drug. Read More
A Fallen Soldier’s Last Gift: Bruce Hays and the Apache Project
After soldier Bruce Hays died in Afghanistan, his Wisconsin neighbors worked to restore an old truck that he'd promised to his wife Terry. Read More
To our free daily newsletter, featuring good news from around the world, exclusive interviews with changemakers, guest columns, and subscriber-only weekly giveaways and special offers. Your privacy is secure with us, we will never spam you or sell your email address. Enter your email address below or click here to learn more about what you will receive.
- Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who Saved the World by Doing Nothing
- Miracle Fruit Makes (Almost) Everything Delicious
- Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog
- Liam Hoekstra, Superbaby: Toddler Born with Superhuman Strength
- Mugging Attempt Gets Thwarted by Real-Life Ninjas