Son of Third Day bassist Tai Anderson dies 5 years after daughter's death; $33K raised

Eli Anderson
Eli Anderson | GoFundMe/Melina Smith

Over $33,000 has been raised to support the family of Tai Anderson, the ex-bassist for the Christian rock band Third Day, after the death of his son due to complications with addiction just five years after losing his daughter in a tragic fashion. 

"Our brother, Tai Anderson, has tragically lost his beloved son, Eli," Third Day posted on social media

"We are all heartbroken. Please keep his family in your prayers. If you'd like to contribute, a gofundme has been set up in Eli's name to help cover the extensive medical bills, memorial costs and ongoing family grief support."  

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In his social media post on May 24, Anderson admitted it's "not easy to ask for help." 

"We are all going to need a lot of spiritual and psychological support in the wake of losing our precious Eli," he wrote. "I would be forever grateful to any of you who can help support us in our hour of desperation."

"Thank you to my brothers from Third Day for sharing this opportunity to support my family as we walk again in the valley of the shadow of death."  

Eli Anderson's aunt Melina Smith launched a GoFundMe page that has raised over $33,668 out of a $50,000 goal as of Wednesday morning. The funding will help cover medical bills and memorial expenses.

The family asks for any support as they work to "honor Eli's memory and continue his legacy of kindness."

"Our family is heartbroken by the loss of my beloved nephew, Eli Anderson. Eli was a sweet, gentle soul with a big heart and a wonderful sense of humor. He brought joy to everyone who knew him. Tragically, we lost Eli to the insidious disease of addiction," his aunt wrote.

Smith stated that the loss caused a "financial burden" that is "overwhelming."

"Many of you have asked how you can help during this difficult time," she said. "Contributing to this GoFundMe will provide much-needed assistance with medical bills and memorial expenses, easing the family's burden as we navigate this painful journey."

Smith stated that amid the sorrow, the family finds "a glimmer of hope in Eli's selfless decision to be an organ donor."

"This small but profound choice means that Eli's legacy will live on, bringing life and hope to many others," Smith wrote. "We are immensely proud of him for this final act of generosity."

In 2018, Tai Anderson announced that his daughter Mackenzie died by suicide.

"Although she faced personal struggles, she also had a perspective fashioned by numerous trips overseas on short-term mission trips," a GoFundMe campaign established following her death reads. "From Curacao to the Dominican Republic to Ethiopia, Mackenzie's experiences overseas helped fashion her worldview. She was on the runway of life getting ready to take off for a life in service to others, especially those less fortunate."

Mackenzie Anderson's GoFundMe campaign raised over $46,000 to help "subsidize the cost for local teenagers to experience overseas missions."

Anderson joined Third Day in 1992, about a year after Mac Powell and Mark Lee launched the group. He was a member until 2015 when he announced he wanted "to place my identity as a child of God and as a husband and father above the touring lifestyle."

The band has earned four Grammy Awards, an American Music Award and 24 Dove Awards. After over a quarter of a century on the road, the band held its farewell tour in 2018. 

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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