Behind her vibrant eyes and smile was a caring, loving, giving, profound woman. Librada "Lily" Cantu, 20, ultimately gave her life to serving others.
Cantu had always devoted time to volunteering and helping others, but friends say she found her calling when she decided to volunteer to become a caregiver for sick and improverished kids at a Hogar San Fransisco de Asis, children's home in Peru.
"Speaking very little Spanish, having never left the country, she just put all her faith in God and said 'This is where I need to be,'" said Susan Mullins, the coordinator of youth ministry for the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Denton, where Cantu was a lifelong member. "It's a very poor place, so families aren't able to care for them medically, so it was a long term care place for children."
Cantu kept in touch with friends and family through email, photos, poems and facebook.
But just as Cantu settled in to her new home, tragedy struck.
"There's a place on the roof that they would sit and gather and she had no shoes on. Their assumption with the people that she worked with is that she slipped and fell and so she died immediately," Mullins said. "The family is just torn. Their hearts are broken. They're just going through each day trying to put the pieces together."
The only solace for the family is that Lily was doing what she loved to do, help others.
"Lily was overwhelmed that she couldn't take care of everyone and now Lily is an angel and Lily can see to it. You know- the power of angels and the work that they can accomplish," said Mullins.
The family of Lily Cantu created a Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank to raise money to bring Lily's body back home to Denton. Any money left over will go to the home where Lily once served. Family members also to hope to eventually create a foundation to help sick and impoverished children in Lily's name.