McKaylee Belle Grampp, the 3-year-old girl who died in a car accident in Burbank on Wednesday, was remembered by loved ones as a bubbly child who loved dressing up as a princess, watching her mom put on makeup and singing "Let It Go," from Disney's "Frozen."
"She just was the light of our life, from the beginning," said her mother, Mary Grampp, 32, while in her living room on Friday wearing a striped headband that she had shared with her daughter. "She connected with people very easily."
By Friday afternoon, 352 donors — including loved ones, strangers and fellow congregants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Burbank — contributed more than $33,000 to an online crowd-funding campaign to help the family with funeral costs.
In a heart-breaking accident, McKaylee was struck Wednesday evening by a car driven by her father in the parking garage of their small multifamily building in Burbank. Paramedics treated her for "serious" injuries at the scene before transporting her to the hospital, where she died, police said.
Mary and Eddie Grampp — who have two sons, ages 5 and 6, and are expecting another baby girl come November — are no strangers to challenges.
Before their oldest son was born, Mary Grampp had three ectopic pregnancies, one of which almost claimed her life. And just three months after McKaylee was born, Eddie Grampp, who works as a computer animator at Nickelodeon, was diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor.
After three years of survival, he's already beat the odds, to which he credits his daughter, who for three years, accompanied him to chemotherapy treatments.
"She gave me a goal to fight for," said Eddie Grampp, while clutching a plastic egg from the last meal his daughter had prepared for him, in her toy kitchen, the morning she died. "She gave me love and encouraged me all along the way."
McKaylee, he added, was always the first to greet him when he came home from work, running to him with a big hug and kiss.
His new goal, he said, is to see the birth of his second baby girl.
"She's coming when we're going to need her the most," Mary Grampp said.
At McKaylee's funeral next week, her parents, who celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary this year, plan to sing "Calling All Angels," by Jessie Clark Funk.
While it's been a Grampp family-favorite for more than a year — helping them through Eddie Grampp's cancer treatment — Mary Grampp discovered that the song is actually about losing a child.
"It's interesting how, the time last year, that I even came across it," Mary Grampp said. "I know now why I did."