On May 4, a 12-year-old Catholic school student in Santa Maria passed away after a two-year battle with cancer, leaving behind a legacy of fundraising for other children suffering from her condition — fibroblastic sarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissue.

Lexi Brown loved music, soccer and spending time with friends and family. After her diagnosis, she was overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love and support from her family and community, which inspired her to give back. Lexi worked tirelessly to raise money for cancer research through her “Bald for Lexi” campaign, raising more than $90,000.

Lexi told People Magazine, “Everyone has done so much for me and my family that I thought it was important to do something to give back. I feel better knowing that I’m doing something that can help other kids and their families.” 

She was just returning from a trip to Lourdes, France, when she was rushed to a hospital in Toronto, Canada, where she died with her mother by her side. Although the trip didn’t cure her, her father says she found spiritual healing.

“France was a trip that provided her miracle through spiritual healing, and she was at peace,” Lexi’s father, Jon Brown, 39, told People. “We would like people to know that Lexi passed away comfortably, on her own terms. She did not suffer at the end. She passed away knowing how very loved she was.”

Lexi was a student at St. Louis de Montfort School in Santa Maria. On hearing of Lexi’s passing, the school issued this statement: “It is with great sadness on our part that we tell you that our Lexi has completed her earthly journey. We are rejoicing that she has made it to her heavenly home. We grieve with her family as we realize those of us left behind will miss her smile, laughter and love.”

Following her death, Santa Maria community members responded by wearing purple, Lexi’s favorite color, and putting up purple ribbons throughout the city.

On May 21, a public memorial was held at the Elks Unocal Event Center in Santa Maria.

To make a donation to the Brown family, go to: www.gofundme.com/team_lexi_brown.