Cancer-Stricken Child, Whose Story Went Viral, Dies

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The cancer-stricken 5-year-old girl whose story went viral after she was photographed saying goodbye to her wailing and terminally ill grandfather has died.

On Jan. 15, the Florida family posted on Facebook that Braylynn Lawhon had "earned her sparkly pink angel wings," reports the Daily Mail.

"Our sweet Braylynn, our warrior princess, earned her sparkly pink angel wings this evening," they wrote on the Braylynn's Battalion Facebook page. "Her nickname was Princess Bel and she could light up any room."

Braylynn was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma -- the most deadly form of brain cancer -- on Dec. 6, just four days before she was to turn 5.

Cancer took her life a little over a month later.

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"She was a princess with the strength of a warrior and she will NEVER be forgotten," reads the Braylynn's Battalion Facebook page. "We need this cruel disease called DIPG to stop taking our children away from us!"

Shortly before she passed, Braylynn captured international attention after she was photographed saying goodbye to her crying 49-year-old grandfather, Sean Peterson, who suffers from ALS.

"We all thought that they would outlive the rest of us ... and we certainly never thought that my precious little Braylynn would be the first to go," the girl's mother, Allyson Parker, who shared the photo, wrote on Facebook, the Daily Mail reports. "Last year was hard for us, but I can't even begin to explain how difficult this year will be and has already been. In a few days I will have to bury this beautiful little girl. Months, maybe even weeks, later, I will have to bury my father. Both of my heroes, gone, within the same year."

Before the child died, the family had set up a GoFundMe page to help fund treatment. Now the money will go toward paying for Braylynn's funeral expenses and further research.

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"It is with a heavy heart to say our Princess has left us," the family, who has raised more than $75,000 of the desired $300,000 as of the morning of Jan. 17, wrote.

"We lost our beloved Braylynn on Monday to this treacherous disease. The donations will go to planning her funeral and to other families fighting this disease and some of it will be going to research to help find a cure," the family posted on the GoFundMe page. "We do not wish this pain upon anyone. We may not be able to bring her back, but she may be able to help other babies from dying in the future."

Sources: Braylynn's Battalion/FacebookAlly Parker/Facebook, Daily MailGoFundMe / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Ally Parker/Facebook (2)

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