‘Ellie Strong': 14-Year-Old Girl Battling Brain Tumor Died, Family Says

"Within 24 days she had five surgeries, so she’s been through hell and back,” her mother said

A teen girl battling a brain tumor has died after she suddenly fell ill during  recovery from surgery, her family revealed.

"My sweet baby girl was taken from us yesterday," her mother, Kyle Cuiching, wrote on Facebook Thursday, calling it the "hardest day of my life." 

Fourteen-year-old Ellie Cuiching was recently airlifted by first responders to her home in Chicago after falling ill on a vacation her doctors cleared her to take. 

The teen ended up hospitalized in both Jamaica and Miami.

"Within 24 days she had five surgeries, so she’s been through hell and back,” her mother wrote earlier this week. 

"It was a very intensive process to move her, it was very scary watching them,” recounted Kyle Cuiching.

According to Kyle Cuiching, Ellie's tumor grew faster than the doctors expected.

"She was a fighter and her spirit did not give up on her it was her body," she wrote. "I'm so grateful Ellie made it home. I think she was also waiting to make it home before letting go." 

School District 113A, where Cuiching attended school, said the teen passed away Wednesday afternoon at Lurie Children's Hospital.

"Ellie’s passing is a tremendous loss for everyone at SD113A and the entire community," the district said in a statement. 

Back in February, Lemont High School rallied around the teen, selling “Ellie Strong” bracelets to help the family deal with medical costs and the family expressed how touched they were by the outpouring community support.

"It kind of gives us hope and gives us energy, and gets us going forward, moving forward and just kind of helps us get through this fight,” Kyle Cuiching said at the time. 

A celebration of life is being planned for Monday and Tuesday, her mother said. 

"My goal through this all is to keep Ellies [sic] spirit alive and keep the #elliestrong movement going forward," she wrote. 

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