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3115 days ago,
July 2, 2012 Memorial Video
Chris Sanderson, 38, of Pennington New Jersey, passed away surrounded by family on Thursday morning after a brave and determined fight against brain cancer. He was an icon in his native Canada for his prowess and passion as a lacrosse goaltender and he was a hero to the many young athletes he coached, encouraged, and mentored on fields in Pennington and his hometown of Orangeville, Ontario. Sanderson was known as a dedicated and fun-loving friend and family-man. His sharp wit and timely jokes were outmatched only by his ability to delight his daughters, Stevie and Clementine. At Halloween, he dressed in whatever costumes they assigned, including trick-or-treating around his town as Belle, Cinderella, and a "pillow-pet." Sanderson was born in Brockville, Ont., and grew up in a lacrosse family in Orangeville. He was one of the first Canadian goaltenders to play at an American university, tending the net for four years at the University of Virginia where he met his wife, Brogann. Known for his on-field coaching and outstanding stickhandling skills, Sanderson's NCAA career for the Cavaliers included backstopping the team on two trips to the Final Four. Sanderson's professional career included stints with Philadelphia and Toronto of the National Lacrosse League, but his greatest contributions to the sport came in international play as a member of Team Canada. He participated in four world championships from 1998 to 2010, reaching the final game each time, and is the only netminder in history to be three times named to the All-World team as best goalie for the tournament. In the 2006 games, Chris helped lead the team to the championship over a favored U.S. squad that had held the world title for nearly three decades. The next time the championships were competed in 2010, Sanderson was in the middle of his battle with cancer. He stopped chemotherapy treatments in order to train with the team and ultimately brought Canada to the final game and a silver medal. His heroic play just months after brain surgery capped a long career that earned him induction into the Canada Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Of the gutty performance in Manchester, England on the sports biggest stage, Sanderson commented that, "It was a big piece of why I wanted to do this, and do it at 100%, was I wanted people to know that (choking back tears) just that I gave everything I could to help Canada win." It will be remembered and revered by the world lacrosse community for years, and the support he received during this inspiring run helped sustain him in the final months of his fight. Sanderson was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, in October 2008. He fought the disease with determination, humor, and a variety of experimental therapies that could lead to treatments or a cure in the future. Most recently, he was "Patient #1" in a new trial for a vaccine that appeared to be reversing the effects of the tumor that had overtaken the left side of his brain. To the end, he was supported by his loving wife, and a network of family, friends, and admirers from around the world. He is survived by his wife, Brogann, and daughters Stevie, 6, and Clementine, 4, as well as his parents, Phil and Susan Sanderson, father, Bill Gerrie, and younger brother, Dustin. He is also survived by his mother- and father-in-law, Tania and Sam McCleery, and brother- and sister-in-law Mark and Ana Tassie and their son, Harrison. He was predeceased by a younger brother, Ryan. A funeral service will be held on Monday, July 2 at 2:00PM at Princeton University Chapel in Princeton, NJ. Donations in Sanderson's honor can be made to "Chris Sanderson Memorial Trust" to benefit his legacy and his children's education, and mailed to: Guggenheim Partners c/o Chris Sanderson Memorial Trust 1045 1st Ave, Suite 120 King of Prussia, PA 19406 Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington. To send a condolence, visit www.wilsonapple.com. WILSON-APPLE FUNERAL HOME