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'Face of child cancer' Jessica Whelan dies aged four

'The true face of cancer'

A four-year-old girl whose battle with cancer was depicted in a poignant photograph shared by her father has died.

Jessica Whelan, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, died on Sunday morning after suffering from neuroblastoma - a rare form of cancer.

Her parents released a picture of her in pain in a bid to show people “the true face of cancer.”

The picture went viral, reaching half a million people in just 24 hours and promoted strangers to raise £76,000 so she could enjoy her final weeks.

Pop star Harry Styles got behind the campaign and contacted her family after being moved by the image.

Her father Andy revealed on Facebook that Jessica had 'finally found peace' after passing away at 7am.

Jessica Whelan

He said: "No longer does she suffer, no longer does she feel the pain of the physical constraints of her body.

"Now my princess has grown her angel wings and has gone up to play with her friends and loved ones. She will now watch down over her little brother and ourselves until one day we are reunited again."

He said they shared a final cuddle as he told her how much he loved her and that it was "okay for her to close her eyes".

He added: "It seems like this is what she needed to finally allow her to find comfort in her passing as within eight hours of this cuddle she finally took her final breath.

"She was a daddy’s girl from the start and even right up to the end."

I feel like a massive part of me has just been torn away but I am so glad that I could give her that comfort in her final hours. She passed peacefully and calmly with not even a murmur.

– Andy

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