NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

September 26, 2012

Merrimac girl, 6, who 'married' Justin Beiber succumbs to cancer


STAFF WRITER

— MERRIMAC -- Avalanna Routh, the 6-year old girl whose battle with cancer inspired her idol Justin Beiber to meet with her and "marry" her, has died.

A message posted on her twitter account this morning read, 'Our darling Avalanna went to Heaven this morning. Oh Avalanna, the brightest star - you took our hearts with you, our greatest Love;('

Avalanna, a kindergartner at the Sweetsir School, was diagnosed at 9 months with a rare form of a malignant brain cancer, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, or AT/RT for short. Early surgery is the only known cure, and Avalanna has undergone a 12-hour surgical attempt to remove the tumor, followed by years of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, radiation and additional surgeries.

The story of Avalanna's battle with cancer and her wish to meet Beiber was first reported in The Daily News a year ago, and was quickly picked up by media outlets throughout the nation. Beiber heard the news reports.

Avalanna became known worldwide when popular teen singer Justin Bieber flew her and her family to New York to meet him, after hearing that he was her idol. The pair were later 'married' and regularly tweeted each other.

While Justin tweeted at the time: "That was one of the best things i have ever done. she was AWESOME! Feeling really inspired now! "#MrsBieber really inspired me."