A BRAVE young girl has tragically died from a brain tumour.

Lily Wythe, 14, was set to fly to Seattle in the USA to receive treatment for the aggressive cancer.

However, after taking a turn for the worse this week, she sadly passed away this morning.

In a statement on Lily's fundraising page, her family said: "It’s with the heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of our beautiful brave Lily. 

"On Thursday, February 13, Lily suffered a huge seizure, she was ventilated and we were transferred to Addenbrookes Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

"On Friday she was removed from breathing apparatus and seemed to be doing well.

"During the evening she struggled to breathe alone, she also had regular intervals where she was unresponsive and continued to have seizures.

"She fought long and hard all day Saturday into this morning. We are utterly heartbroken but we couldn’t be prouder of our girl.

"Fly high beautiful, cancer free and forever 14 years old."

Halstead Gazette:

Lily and her family

Lily  was diagnosed with a aggressive malignant brainstem tumour called Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma H3 K27MK.

This is a tumour of the central nervous system that affects sight, hearing, speech, swallow, breathing and heart rate.

Her story came into the national spotlight when her friend Lillie Cotgrove, a fellow pupil of Eastwood Acacdemy, who is from Benfleet, came up with an idea to fundraise the £300,000 needed to get her treatment in Seattle.

The One Pound Warriors group was formed with the idea of every member donating at least £1 to Lily's fundraiser.

It went on to raise £230,000 within a week and attracted celebrity attention on social media including Rachel Riley and Jonathan Ross.

Halstead Gazette:

This morning Lillie's mum Sarah, 44, issued a heartfelt statement to the group's thousands of supporters.

"To everyone reading this, to all our warriors, you have all been absolutely incredible," she said.

"You've inspired each other with selfless acts of kindness and generosity and brought communities together.

"You gave a family support and love and hope in their darkest times and you gave beautiful Lily giggles and love and strength and gave Di and Martin contacts and practical and mental help.

"Thank you isn’t enough."

She added: "We all need some time.

"We all need to cry and shout and turn to each other.

"Life is so unfair we need to scream. We need to try to explain it to our children.

"But mostly we just want to take all of that love and passion and kindness and direct it at that beautiful family whether that is praying, or holding them close in our thoughts."

Brain Tumour Research worked with the family to raise awareness of the campaign.

Hugh Adams, a spokesman for the charity, said the family had worked hard to shed light on the "lack of funding" for research into the "most cruel" of childhood cancers.

He said: “We are devastated to hear the news. 

"We know that Lily and her family drew great comfort from the enormous outpouring of love which followed an appeal, set up by her friend Lillie Cotgrove, to raise the £300,000 they needed for a possible clinical trial in Seattle.

“We were proud to work alongside both families to raise awareness of the issues, particularly around diffuse intense pontine glioma and the lack of funding for research for this most cruel of childhood cancer diagnoses.

“We cannot let this situation continue to happen. Families simply should not be placed in the hideous situation of having to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds, and seek treatment abroad.

“Lily’s tragic story spurs us on to work ever more resolutely to raise funds for research and to campaign for the government and the larger cancer charities to invest more and work with us to make a difference.”