Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/1/12
A funeral service will be held on Monday at 2 p.m. at Princeton University Chapel in Princeton, NJ, for Chris Sanderson, 38, who passed away Thursday after a lengthy fight against brain cancer.
Mr. Sanderson was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, in October 2008. He fought the disease with remarkable determination and humor. He tried a variety of experimental therapies that doctors hoped could lead to treatments or a cure in the future.
To the end, he was supported by his loving wife, and a network of family, friends, and admirers that extended well beyond the lacrosse world.
Mr. Sanderson was a lacrosse icon in his native Canada, known for his talents as one of the game’s greatest goalies ever and his ability to coach and teach players of all age. He was looked up to by the athletes he coached in Pennington, N.J., and his hometown of Orangeville, Ontario, Canada.
Sanderson was one of the first Canadian goaltenders to play at an American university, starring at the University of Virginia, where he met his wife, Brogann. He led the Cavaliers to two Final Fours and then had a successful professional career with Philadelphia and Toronto of the National Lacrosse League.
Probably his greatest accomplishments 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, he led 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 held in 2010, Mr. sanderson played brilliantly despite being 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 against the US 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.
Mr. Sanderson 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.
Mr. Sanderson 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.
Donations in Mr. 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 First 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.