Child in heartbreaking hospital photo with her grandfather dies of cancer

Rachel Hosie
Ally Parker: Facebook

A little girl who went viral in a photo last week has died from cancer.

Five-year-old Braylynn Lawhon from Pensacola, Florida sadly died from the most deadly form of brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), for which there is no cure and no survival rate.

A picture of Lawhon went viral last week, which showed the young girl in her hospital bed accompanied by her grandfather, who is battling motor neurone disease.

Facebook (Ally Parker)

But the family has revealed that they lost her on Monday.

“It is with a heavy heart to say our princess has left us,” Braylynn’s aunt Shawnon Peterson wrote on her gofundme page yesterday. “We lost our beloved Braylynn on Monday to this treacherous disease that needs to be eradicated.

“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. 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. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers.”

The gofundme page has raised nearly $80,000 in the past month.

Braylynn was diagnosed with the tumour on 6 December and despite the money raised for an expensive treatment, she took a turn for the worse at the beginning of January, with doctors discovering a bleed coming from the tumour.

But after many news organisations covered the family’s difficult situation and shared the picture, Braylynn’s family received an outpouring of support.

“She’s gotten five or six Belle dresses mailed to her from complete strangers because we want to bury her in a Belle dress,” Braylynn’s grandmother Beth Peterson-Hickman told USA Today.

“They’ve sent tiaras and slippers and little gloves and all kinds of stuff to her.”

Braylynn was nicknamed Belle because her initials were B-E-L.

The family are now arranging a princess-themed funeral.

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