Gabriella Miller, 10, the young girl who captured Loudoun County's heart over the last several months, died Saturday night after a year-long battle with cancer.
Gabriella was diagnosed a year ago with a walnut-sized brain tumor and she was honored in May as Loudoun County's Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation. She helped raise more than $275,000 for the popular charity.
According to a Washington Post article, Gabriella's health declined last week and she was forced into hospice care.
A statement from the family on Gabriella's Smashing Walnuts Facebook page announced her death.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts and the greatest of love that we share the news that our daughter Gabriella passed away last night,” her father Mark Miller stated on Facebook. “Thank you for loving our daughter and for all of your support.”
Gabriella was able to accomplish a great deal in the year since her diagnosis.
She most recently spent a day as a college student at Shenandoah University attending classes, hanging out in the residence halls and eating lunch at a dining center. Shenandoah also held a special one day graduation ceremony, complete with cap and gown, at the end of her stay.
Gabriella had also traveled to Paris and become a published author.
Details for her burial have not yet been announced, according to her organization's Facebook page.
The foundation was launched earlier this year and is named for a ritual the family started once Gabriella was diagnosed.
Every night, Gabriella would take a frying pan and crush a walnut to help her visually defeat the disease.