A 12-year-old Northern Fairfield County girl known for her never-ending smile and brave battle against a rare form of cancer has succumbed to the disease.
Brooke Blake, whose smile lifted many in Ridgefield as she fought the rare form of brain cancer, DIPG, for more than five years, died on Thursday, June 4.
Brooke, who turned 12 in May, was diagnosed with the untreatable form of pediatric brain cancer in 2015 when she was 7-years-old.
For the next five years, she endured numerous brain procedures, rounds and rounds of chemotherapy, and several clinical trials, the whole time with a smile.
On Thursday, her mother, Madeline Blake, announced her passing on a public Facebook page created to keep the town updated on her progress.
"It is with the heaviest heart that I have to tell you that Brooke has moved on and gained her wings at 8:06 am.," her mother wrote. "My heart is broken but I know that she is Home and suffering no longer. Please say your prayers that she is happy and free and with her cousin Skylor."
Brooke's brave battle and brilliant smile had rallied the town in a way that prompted many to help by holding fundraisers, and posting "Believe in Brooke" signs in their yards and on roadways throughout the area.
Her inspiration drew more than 7,000 members to follow her journey on the public Facebook page, and many others to help her family with the struggle and still others to offer prayers.
A student at Scotts Ridge Middle School, Brooke made it home from the hospital last month in time to celebrate her birthday.
On that day, she received an extra special treat by area police and fire departments who paraded by her home complete with balloons and signs wishing her Happy Birthday, as friends and family stood in the yard to celebrate her day.
Her mother said she would post details regarding a celebration of life soon.
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