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Essex teenager dies weeks after friends raised £300,000 for life-saving treatment

A 14-year-old from Essex has died just weeks after her best friend helped raise more than £300,000 to fund treatment for her brain tumour.

Lily Wythe from Eastwood was diagnosed five months ago with one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer called DIPG. The tumour affects the central nervous system and only 10% of children survive two years after being diagnosed.

Lily with her mum last year Credit: ITV Anglia

Her family were told the only treatment available in the UK was radiotherapy which would give her a few extra months. But the Wythes found a promising clinical trial in the America but needed to raise £300,000 to cover medical expenses.

So her best friend Lillie Cotgrove set up the One Pound Warriors Facebook page to encourage people to help fund Lily's surgery in the United States.

Lily Whythe (right) with her best friend Lillie Cotgrove (left) Credit: Facebook

Celebrities including Jonathan Ross, Steven Gerrard and Martin Freeman backed the campaign. Read more here.

Martin Freeman was one of many celebrities to join the campaign Credit: Facebook

But at the weekend Lily's family posted on facebook that the teenager had passed away.

Credit: Facebook

"It’s with the heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of our beautiful brave Lily. On Thurs 13th Feb Lily suffered a huge seizure, she was ventilated and we were transferred to Addenbrooks Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

On Friday she was removed from breathing apparatus and seemed to be doing well. During the evening she struggled to breathe alone, she also had regular intervals where she was unresponsive and continued to have seizures.

She fought long and hard all day Saturday into this morning. We are utterly heartbroken but we couldn’t be prouder of our girl. Fly high beautiful, cancer free and forever 14 years old."

– Family statement via Facebook