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Jessica Whelan Update: The 4-Year-Old Girl Who Broke Internet's Heart Succumbed To Cancer

By Christie Abagon , Nov 22, 2016 12:27 AM EST
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The four-year-old girl who brought the world to tears with her heartbreaking cancer photos, died Sunday, her father confirmed on Facebook. Jessica Whelan's dad, Andy, started posting pictures in October to document her story. She was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that affects children, September of last year.

Thousands Of People Pledged Money In The Past Two Days

Jessica's family used the site GoFundMe to raise £20,000 to raise money for treatment and to help her enjoy her final weeks, but the target was smashed in a matter of hours and the internet raised $180,000 for the family. Andy said they were 'humbled' by the response.

"It has been absolutely overwhelming. It is quite hard for us to comprehend what is being donated. We will now be able to buy her things to give her enjoyment during the time she has left and will also help us give her the send off she deserves. We don't feel comfortable about asking for money and we weren't even going to do it until people asked us to. Now, we can't believe how far it has gone. It seems to have reached most corners of the world," he said.

The Initial Diagnosis Was Bone Infection

Jessica was diagnosed on September 23 last year. Initially, the doctors diagnosed her with a bone infection, but 10 weeks after she was about to be discharged, doctors decided to examine her again. That's when they found a mass in her tummy. "I asked the doctor how long she had left, and he said he couldn't give a figure but it was likely to be a couple of years," Mr Whelan said.

Jessica Finally Gained Her 'Angel Wings'

On Sunday, Jessica lost the battle. In a heartbreaking Facebook post, Andy announced her daughter's death and said the he feels "both sadness and relief."

"Now my princess has grown her angel wings and has gone up to play with her friends and loved ones. She will now watch down over her little brother and ourselves until one day we are reunited again."

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