MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a girl battling a rare cancer says she has died.

Maddison Mertz passed away on Monday.

maddison mertz Friends of Maddison Mertz Invited To Say Goodbye

Maddison Mertz (credit: CBS)

Her mother, Lindsay Mertz, released the following statement about her daughter on Facebook:

Our precious girl took her last breath last night. She passed away in our arms surround by friends and family. Over the past 8 years and particularly the last 6 months she showed us how to be brave while fighting with a smile. She showed us how to live and love life. She has brought us more joy in life. We are truly better people because of her. Thank you Maddison for letting us be your parents. We are beyond blessed.

The pain we now feel is like nothing we have ever felt before. But we know she is no longer in pain. We know that she is running free in heaven and will be watching over us. We love her to the moon and back. She will always be with us. At every birthday and every holiday. We know each day will be painful but we want to live our lives fullest. That is how Maddison lived each and every day.

Maddison was diagnosed with stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme last fall. Surgery removed most of her neck tumor, but a MRI taken in February showed six new tumors.

Read More: Brain Tumor Can’t Keep Young Gymnast From Shining

A month later, there was growth in those tumors. Maddison and her family went to Canada to have loco-regional hyperthermia treatment, which is approved there but only in clinical trials in the U.S.

Glioblastoma multiforme is extremely rare in kids. Genetic testing showed doctors what works for some adults wouldn’t work for Maddison. A team at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota did everything they could to keep her alive and strong.

A visitation for Maddison will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at St. Victoria Catholic Church in Victoria. A funeral service is set for 11 a.m. Friday.


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