Six-year-old Bradley Lowery, the terminally-ill football mascot, is "very close to going with the angels", but is still fighting to stay alive, his family have said.
In a moving update on Facebook, they said that while Bradley's condition is deteriorating rapidly, "he pulls himself out of it".
The young Sunderland fan suffers from a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma, that mostly affects children.
His family, from Blackhall, County Durham, have used social media to regularly update his many thousands of well-wishers around the world about his condition.
In their latest post they said: "Bradley is still fighting to stay with us. Nobody knows where he is getting the strength from or how he is doing it.
"He has been very close to going with the angels but he pulls himself out of it.
"It is a hard time for us waiting and watching for our baby to take his last breath, he started with fighting and he is ending with fighting."
On Saturday the youngster was visited by his "best friend" Jermain Defoe after his family threw him a party.
He had asked to have a party with his cousins and girlfriend and pictures showed him cuddling up to the football player.