An 8-year-old Pennsylvania girl whose courageous fight with leukemia drew support from across the country, including thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home last Saturday, died early this morning, her family said.
Delaney "Laney" Brown's family posted this message on her Facebook page Christmas Day:
"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."
Laney was diagnosed in May with a rare from of leukemia, and recently, after doctors had given her days to live, she made a wish for her neighbors to lift their voices in holiday songs.
On Saturday night, 6,000 to 8,000 people gathered outside her home in West Reading, Pa., singing holiday favorites such as "Frosty the Snowman" and "Jingle Bells." Laney was too sick to come to the window, but she heard the voices and her family posted a picture on Facebook showing Laney giving two thumbs up with the text, "I can hear you now!!! Love you!"
"A lot of people don't even know her but through social media have been able to give her this wish. Unfortunately this could be her last Christmas and everyone wanted to make it special for her," caroler Deb Redcay told ABC Philadelphia station WPVI.
Another caroler, Megan McGee, told WPVI last Saturday that she was inspired by all of the posts and updates on the Team Laney Facebook page, which also helped raise donations for the family to help pay for medical expenses.
"Just the different stories her mother has posted regularly showing her strength, her courage, her humor -- this is heartbreaking," said McGee.
In addition to the carolers, Laney had also wished to meet pop star and Pennsylvania native Taylor Swift.
Last Friday night, as her family celebrated her eighth birthday, Laney's wish was granted when the two had a video chat.
On Facebook, her family also expressed gratitude for the support they had received from people all over the world.
The Associated Press and ABC station WPVI contributed to this report.