The message showed up on Twitter early this morning: "Our darling Avalanna went to Heaven this morning. Oh Avalanna, the brightest star - you took our hearts with you, our greatest Love." Soon after, RIP Avalanna began trending, with thousands of Justin Bieber fans sharing their sorrow over the 6-year-old girl's death.
What does Justin Bieber have to do with the sad story of a little girl passing away? As it turns out, little Avalanna Routh, who suffered from a rare form of brain cancer, was one of Bieber's biggest fans -- and he in turn treated her like a princess. He met with her in person, stayed in touch via iChat, and even brought her on stage in June during a performance of "One Less Lonely Girl."
Avalanna has tragically lost her fight with cancer, but Bieber's kindness was surely a source of joy in her final days ... and more importantly, he's helped her family raise awareness for AT/RT, the disease that took her young life.
Avalanna’s story first gained nationwide attention after friends started a Facebook and Twitter campaign to get the 6-year-old girl to meet her idol. The hashtag #MrsBieber began to trend on Twitter, and she was profiled on NBC's Boston affiliate, WHDH.
Eventually, Bieber not only noticed her story, he flew Avalanna and her family to NYC for a "date" with his biggest fan -- one that involved a game of Candy Land and shared cupcakes. It was a dream come true for Avalanna, but it was also a much-needed opportunity to raise awareness of the cancer Avalanna was diagnosed with in 2006, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), and the work being done at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to investigate potential cures.
According to Avalanna's mom,
He was just a dream. We were Bieber fans before, but there is now a whole new respect for this kid that did such a great job with her and was just so graceful in doing it.
Avalanna and Bieber reportedly continued to keep in touch after their initial meeting, and a few months ago she joined him onstage at the Apolla Theater. Here's a video of that moment, and I'll warn you -- you might need tissues for it:
Aaahhhhh, the part where he puts the flowers in her lap ... that's just beyond sweet. I bet that concert was absolutely magical for her.
Good for Justin Bieber for caring so much about this young fan, and I hope he continues to help her family provide information about AT/RT and the search for a cure.
Have you heard about Avalanna Routh's story before?
Image via Twitter