People are invited to line the street from Garlinge to Thanet Crematorium and wear something lilac for the funeral procession of a little girl who touched the hearts of the community.
Aurora Pile-Gray fought a rare and aggressive cancer for more than a year but lost her battle on June 29.
Nine-year-old Aurora was just days away from her 10th birthday. Her struggle against the disease was lost after a bone marrow transplant procedure failed.
Mum Keisha Pile-Gray says while the funeral and wake on Thursday (July 22) will be specific friends and family only, anyone who would like to pay their respects is welcome to do so as the procession passes. The service at the crematorium takes place at 1pm.
She said: “Her procession will be going straight from our house in Garlinge to the Thanet Crematorium with a horse and carriage. If people are wishing to line the streets or join outside the crematorium, they are welcome to do so, however space inside is limited and will be specific friends and family only. People are more than welcome to wear a splash of lilac to pay their respects.
“Whilst we are aware that Aurora has touched many hearts, we are keeping her wake to invite only. It’s bound to be an emotional day, and we don’t want to feel stretched with people we don’t know personally.
“After much consideration we have decided that the day may be too emotional for children and so whilst they are welcome to line the streets, the wake will be adult only.”
Many of Aurora’s friends previously attended a balloon release in her memory on the day of her 10th birthday.
Keisha says flowers are not necessary but people can donate to a collection to go towards the Paediatric Ward at The Royal Marsden. This is due to be set up but details should be available through funeral directors Twyman & Holmes.
Keisha added: “Thank you to everyone who has gone above and beyond supporting us this year, we appreciate everything everyone has done, big and small. And thank you to Twyman & Holmes who have helped make every aspect of Aurora’s day as special as possible.”
Aurora won the hearts of the Thanet community during her battle with cancer with many following the family’s progress through Keisha’s blog Growing Pains and Paper Planes and also donating to a fundraiser for life-saving treatment.
People also signed up on the bone marrow register following Keisha’s inspirational campaign to highlight the desperate need for donors, especially people of mixed ethnicity.
Runners Andrew Herst and Trevor King completed a 50 mile route yesterday (July 17) to raise funds for Aurora’s family. The pair surpassed their £500 target and so far have raised £1040.
To celebrate Aurora’s life, a memorial football match between the Aurora All Stars and South East Dons is being held on Friday, July 30 at Margate Football Club.
There is a 1,000 capacity. Doors open at 6.15pm with kick off at 7pm. A raffle will be held and any extra prizes are welcome.
Find out more at Marrow for Aurora