MERRIMAC — Five words from teen idol Justin Bieber in tribute to Avalanna Routh of Merrimac, the 6-year-old girl whose courageous battle with cancer inspired the superstar to meet with her and “marry” her, has been named one of last year’s top two tweets on Twitter, the social micro-blogging website.
“RIP Avalanna. i love you,” was re-posted or retweeted more than 220,000 times by Bieber’s fans since Avalanna’s death in September. The only tweet to be re-posted more last year was “Four more years,” signifying President Barack Obama’s winning another term in office in November. That message was retweeted more than 810,000 times.
Avalanna, a kindergartner at the Sweetsir School, was diagnosed at 9 months with a rare form of a malignant brain cancer called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, or AT/RT for short.
The story of Avalanna’s battle with cancer and her wish to meet Bieber was first reported in The Daily News more than a year ago, and was quickly picked up by media outlets throughout the nation.
Avalanna’s story eventually made its way to Bieber himself, who flew her and her family to New York to meet him. The pair were later “married” and regularly tweeted each other as Avalanna and her crush on Bierber became known worldwide.
At the time of their meeting, Bieber tweeted, “That was one of the best things i have ever done. she was AWESOME! Feeling really inspired now! #MrsBieber really inspired me.”
Upon receiving the news of Avalanna’s passing, Bieber tweeted, “Just got the worst news ever. One of the greatest spirits I have ever known is gone. Please pray for her family and for her.”
That tweet was followed by his now-viral, “RIP Avalanna. i love you,”