Avalanna Routh | 'Mrs. Justin Bieber,' 6

Avalanna Routh , in 2010, was diagnosed at 9 months old.
Avalanna Routh , in 2010, was diagnosed at 9 months old.
Posted: September 27, 2012

Avalanna Routh, 6, whose love for Justin Bieber encouraged a Boston hospital to organize a pretend wedding to the pop star as she battled a rare brain cancer, has died.

Her family said on their Twitter account that Avalanna - she called herself Mrs. Bieber - died Wednesday morning at her Merrimac home.

During the pretend wedding, Avalanna wore a T-shirt that said "Future Mrs. Bieber" and stood next to his portrait under a banner that declared them "Just Married." That sparked a social-media campaign to help her meet the singer.

Bieber arranged for the girl to meet him in New York, where they spent a couple of hours together before he tweeted that the experience was the best thing he's ever done.

He took to Twitter on Wednesday to mourn the girl's death.

"just got the worst news ever. one of the greatest spirits i have ever known is gone," he tweeted.

Avalanna suffered from an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, a fast-growing tumor of the brain and spinal cord that usually occurs in young children. Only 30 new cases are diagnosed in this country each year, said Charles Roberts of Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center, where Avalanna received treatment.

She was diagnosed when she was 9 months old and "responded to initial treatment for quite a while, but the cancer kept coming back," Roberts said.

"By generously sharing her story," the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said in a statement, "she raised awareness worldwide about atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors and articulated the need for greater research of this rare cancer." - AP

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