Caitlin Downing brought many people together when she got sick. Family friend Lori Cox watched as the Oviedo community rallied around the little girl when she developed a rare form of brain cancer.
"She was so bubbly! Always had a smile," she said. "She became everybody's child in this community."
Caitlin's mom, Denise, was open throughout her fight and shared her family's ups and downs on a personal blog, "Cheering for Caitlin."
"She connected people from all over the country that were cheering for Caitlin," Cox said.
When Caitlin's condition worsened, the community and friends closed their arms around Caitlin even tighter. Lori's own yard became inspiration for helping.
Lori wanted to make sure that Caitlin and her family had plenty of Christmas decorations and a way to get them up in time for Caitlin to be able to enjoy them. So she went out and found a way to make it happen.
The Oviedo home depot agreed to donate a lot of Christmas decorations. then, neighbors pitched in.
"Everybody, together as a team, worked to decorate their yard," said Cox. "She got to watch and be a part of it, and I think it did… I think it brightened her day."
It was an early holiday gift for the brave little girl who always shared a smile. Two days later, Caitlin lost her battle with cancer. Now, Lori hopes these Christmas decorations will help preserve her memory.
"You see Christmas lights this year and that's what you're gonna think of."
A little girl who meant so much to so many.
"She was pretty amazing! She was an angel!"