Various covers of Katy Perry's "Roar" have given the pop hit different meanings, but one in particular had us in tears. Terminally ill 16-year-old Olivia Wise recorded a version of the track in September, which went viral over the next couple of months. Heartbreakingly, the spirited girl, who wouldn't let an inoperable brain tumor hold her down, passed away yesterday.
"She died peacefully in her home surrounded by the extraordinary love of her family," a family statement sent to CNN said. Her mother went on to say in a letter that Olivia didn't want people crying at her funeral, but that they should celebrate her life. So, so sad. But also, how fitting.
As gut-wrenchingly awful as it is that Olivia lost her life so young, those closest to her said she was such a positive, upbeat person, a fighter, and "a champion."
As her mother put it:
In many ways, Olivia has lived a shortened, but full life. ... Every day, she wished for a cure, and rarely succumbed to negative thoughts. ... To tell the truth, her diagnosis didn't change her personality. It only enhanced it. She took the news in a mature, reasonable, responsible way. ... Even in the most difficult moments, she managed to bring laughter and friendship to all that were caring for her.
No wonder Olivia's version of "Roar" was so touching that even Katy Perry herself responded. Back when she first saw the cover, she told the teen, "I love you and a lot of people love you, and that's why your video got to me and moved everybody that saw it ... keep roaring." And that's exactly what she did -- and how she'll be remembered.
Katy herself tweeted her response to the tremendously sad news late last night:
Olivia Wise, I can hear you singing with the angels now. Your spirit & strength has inspired me & so many others... May you rest in peace.— Katy Perry (@katyperry) November 26, 2013
And here's the original video if you missed it ...
You can also visit the Liv Wise Fund here.
What condolences and comforting words would you want to share with Olivia's family?