Love for Lily: Life lessons from the Princess


Nothing but smiles for this 5-year-old fighter. Even after enduring years worth of chemotherapy and a variety of other drugs to combat her neuroblastoma, Lily Rosploch never failed to bring light to all she encountered. Rallying for Lily became a community effort, yet her passing on Jan. 31 has failed to disband the powerful sense of togetherness. Lily’s memory will continue to be cherished by the community through her compassion, positivity, and perseverance.

Recently the hearts of our community were shaken, mourning the loss of 5-year-old Lily, daughter of Michael and Maria Rosploch of LaSalle after her two-year battle with neuroblastoma. Although her life was short, Lily touched the lives of thousands including those in our IVCC community. The college played host to the alumni game on Nov. 6, 2014, which simultaneously served as a fundraiser for Lily to offset the expenses of her medical treatments. Not only did IVCC step up in the fight for her life, but so did local schools and businesses — I remember playing in the pep band for a “purple night” at La Salle-Peru High School my senior year, two Februarys ago. I have found encouragement in the continuation of Lily-themed events following her passing, signaling the importance that those left behind must continue to prosper.

I did not have the privilege of knowing this little fighter, but I stood by and marveled at the power one person could have to centralize a large, diverse group of people. Lily made such an impression on the world in two short years. She taught people the possibility of happiness in the face of adversity, that no present pain could compare to the joy of the future. Especially in light of her recent passing, I’ve taken her indirect lessons into consideration. I know how difficult it can be to unite and motivate people towards a cause — publishing this newspaper sometimes has proven no easy feat — and to see an entire community continuously come together because of one little girl’s humble cry for help is truly incredible.

While reflecting on her short yet wholesome life, I focused on the change she completely accidentally brought about. Lily’s condition opened the eyes of many to the hardships of families with sick children because of the locality of her particular case. Her Facebook page played advocate to the stories of many other children in need, emphasizing the importance of her community support system, and how so many others need the same. Following her story gave these supporters something to hope for, something to detract from their own problems and put the fragility of life into perspective. We soared with her highs and crashed with her lows, and I hope with her passing people muster the strength she had and remain nothing but optimistic.

My point is, we shouldn’t be waiting around for opportunities — life itself is an opportunity. Lily’s life was just a fraction of what yours already is. Think about what you have accomplished, and aim high for your future goals. If such a small girl can have such a huge impact on the hearts of an entire community, imagine what you can do with the days, weeks, months, and years remaining in your own life. I’m thankful for the compassion, positivity, and perseverance Lily taught me by blessing our community with the story of her life. Now, I encourage everyone to go out and make the most of theirs.

Long live the Princess.