16-Year-Old Sarah Phillips’ Tribute For Her Dying Mom Is Now Changing Lives


Her mom was in the last hours of a long battle with cervical cancer. And in her head, Sarah Phillips kept repeating a line from a  favorite song: “you still live on in my father’s eyes”.  Sarah went to her room and suddenly decided to sing the song – Autumn by pop star Paolo Nutini – into her mobile phone.  A few hours later, she was at her mom’s bedside when her mom passed away.

Following her mom’s passing, Sarah put her impromptu recording on YouTube. She added to it photos and memories of her mom.  The tribute was intended for friends and family. But what happened next was amazing.

Sarah’s moving tribute and beautiful voice spread like wildfire on YouTube.  Then on ITunes.  Donations to a charity set up in her mom’s name began flowing in. Before long, hundreds of thousands of dollars had been raised.

Now, Sarah devotes her life to raising awareness and funds to fight cervical cancer.  And she is not stopping there.  She has also recently signed a record deal and released her first ­single. Also, she has scheduled a full set of upcoming performances. Along the way, she has inspired children to get closer to their parents. She is changing lives through her fundraising. This video tells Sarah’s story.

Here is Sarah’s beautiful rendition of Autumn.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is an article about Sarah.
  • Here is the website where you can learn more about the charity dedicated to Sarah’s mom.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Who are the most important people in your life?
  • How do you show appreciation for them?

Take Action:

  • Think of the special talents you have. Use them to help you through bad times, just like Sarah did.
  • Now find a way to use your talents to help others as well!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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