A young girl with terminal cancer has passed away after her plight gained national attention.
Delaney ‘Laney’ Brown of West Reading, Pennsylvania passed away early Christmas morning.
One of the last kind gifts she received was the support of thousands of strangers who came to her front lawn to sing Christmas carols on Saturday night.
That pick-me-up came the day after she knocked another dream- speaking with Taylor Swift- off her bucket list on her eighth birthday.
Laney died early Wednesday morning with her relatives updating her followers with her status on the ‘Team Laney’ Facebook page.
‘My heart breaks right now. Our little angel on earth earned her pink glittery angel wings in heaven. She took her last breath at home in her bed at 3:10 surrounded by all her family and friends. I miss her so much already,’ the latest update from about 5am on Christmas morning read.
Followers were well aware that Laney’s health had taken a turn for the worse, with a lengthy update on Tuesday night telling how the family was praying for a Christmas miracle.
They had a check in with their doctors Tuesday night so that she could have a transfusion and new tests.
‘We went up there hoping that maybe we would get a miracle and were just devastated hearing all those results,’ the update read.
‘Our doctors focus then turned to how uncomfortable Laney had been for days. They were determined to get that under control. Our baby should not being struggling like this while on hospice.
‘She is extremely comfortable right now so I guess not being able to hear her beautiful little voice again or see her gazing at me with those big blue eyes is the trade off we had to make.
‘I lay next to her all day and all night kissing her beautiful face and stroking every finger on her tiny hands.
‘Tonight is Christmas Eve, a time when they are usually getting excited about how they are going to sneak down stairs early to see what Santa got them and teasing each other about what they got for each other. I miss her voice so badly right now.’
Brave: The brave little girl has remained upbeat, her parents say, and was even courageous enough to mark off another wish from her list–to pet an alligator
Laney received her cancer diagnosis in May but the past week has been the toughest after doctors told the family that there was little else to be done.
‘Today we were told the worst news of our lives,’ wrote Delaney’s mom Jennifer Brown last week. ‘Laney has 70% cancer cells in her blood. If they would treat the cancer the virus that she has would kill her. And if they treat the virus the cancer will kill her.’
Laney suffered from a rare form of childhood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia with monosomy 7, ‘making her quite rare,’ according to the Facebook page.
Just 10 children a year are diagnosed with the illness in America.
The sweet but tough little girl, who loved fashion and swimming in the ocean, went through five rounds of radiation and a stem cell transplant.
Photos of the beautiful gathering, which over 4,000 people indicated on Facebook they’d attend, show throngs of supporters outside Delaney’s home—many in Santa hats and holding candles as they gave the brave girl her Christmas wish.
Singer Taylor Swift, who grew up in the neighboring town of Wyomissing, also helped Delaney knock an item off her bucket list.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation helped connect Swift with the Brown family last week when it became clear that Delaney has very little time left.
‘Laney was so nervous to talk to her because she is such a ‘famous celebrity,’ Jennifer Brown wrote on Facebook.
‘I was actually worried that when Taylor Facetimed her that she would be to scared to talk but Taylor was fabulous!! She really engaged Laney in conversation. Laney lit up and had a huge smile on her face. I can’t thank Taylor enough.’
‘Prior to her cancer she was a normal kid,’ writes Delaney’s mother. ‘Spent as much time as possible at the pool or in the ocean. She also loved to dance in ballet. She loves animal prints, hot pink, and she has a special eye for fashion!’