Cassandra Barbour had just one wish: to be buried in a pink tulle princess dress.
The 14-year-old from Martinsville, Virginia, who was diagnosed with bone cancer in May 2016, was combing through the racks at Goodwill this past summer when she spotted the strapless, flowy gown. “She tried it on, and it was just stunning on her,” Barbour’s grandmother Lisa Eskew told ABC 13 News. But Barbour ended up leaving the store empty-handed.
It was a decision Barbour would later regret. “We would find our eyes searching everywhere for the dress,” Eskew told ABC 13. “Myself, I went into probably 20 Goodwills, thinking maybe I would find that dress.”
That’s when loved ones turned to social media, sharing photos of Barbour modeling the floor-length frock. “Please help us get this dress for Cassandra Barbour,” wrote one relative December 8. “This is her final wish. She has fought a courageous battle with cancer.” Pleaded a family friend: “She would like to be buried [in the dress] and has just been moved to hospice.”
Their prayers were answered when local artist Karen Despot spotted the post and worked for two days straight re-creating the design — which she hand-delivered to the Barbour family. “How can you not respond when you’re a seamstress and you have the God-given talent to do this?” she said in an interview with ABC 13.
“It means the world to us, and it means the world to Cassandra,” Eskew told ABC 13. “This dress is like she was … priceless.”
Barbour, who passed away Friday, December 9, will be laid to rest in her princess dress today.
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