SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Orcutt community is rallying around the family of 12 year old Lexi Brown who lost her courageous fight against cancer that garnered national and international attention.
Lexi Brown inspired everyone around her to help raise awareness and money for child cancer research.
St. Joseph High School student-athlete Nikki Cervantes shaved her head in solidarity with Lexi Brown and for her own mother's battle with cancer.
"She changed my life", Cervantes says about Lexi Brown, "she told me to continue everything she wanted, everything she had started, and continue to make her campaign bigger and better, I'm doing this for her."
Lexi Brown's fight against cancer was embraced by the community.
Her "Fight Like a Girl" campaign continues to sell t-shirts in local restaurants like Orcutt Burger to raise support and awareness for children with cancer even after her death.
"We feel for their loss, this is just a small to show our support with the community, for the Brown family and what we stand for", says Orcutt resident Wayne Hummel, "remarkable family, really strong so, we pray for them, we wish them the best and we like to support them in any way from here on."
Central Coast News has learned that Lexi Brown was on her way home after spending several days at Lourdes in France with her mother.
She was forced to stop at a hospital in Toronto, Canada with breathing problems and was surrounded by her family when she passed away.
News of Lexi Brown's death is being shared by those who were touched by her remarkable life.
"Now she's looking over us, we're all looking up at her, now she's looking over at us, she wants us to continue to give everything to everyone suffering from cancer, to help out the community", Nikki Cervantes says, "she's changed all of our lives, especially the St. Joseph High School community, she was granted her wish last year when she went to Canada to go watch the USA women's national soccer team in the World Cup, it was amazing, I heard some great stories, she's been sharing her story everywhere, I pray for her everyday, I continue to pray for her, she continues to pray for us now that she's up there in a great place."
St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School in Orcutt where Lexi Brown was a student released the following statement on their Facebook page about her death Wednesday afternoon.
"It is with great sadness on our part that we tell you that our Lexi has completed her earthly journey. We are rejoicing that she has made it to her heavenly home. We grieve with her family as we realize those of us left behind will miss her smile, laughter, and love. Saint Paul's words to Timothy reflect Lexi's courage during this time; "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." God bless the Brown Family and our Saint Louis de Montfort community as we comfort each other."
Lexi Brown's courageous fight was profiled in People Magazine and caught the attention of celebrities like Aston Kutcher and George Takei on their Facebook pages after she was visited by UCLA fraternity members while she was undergoing treatment at UCLA Medical Center.
Lexi was also able to get her picture taken with NBA superstar Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and popular singer L.L. Cool J.
Charity events and other fundraisers have raised more than $70,000 for children's cancer research in Lexi Brown's name. In March, nearly 100 people raised more than $50,000 by shaving their heads.
A Go Fund Me page that was set up for Lexi says, in part, "She is a amazing girl, with a heart of gold and the strength and courage of a lion."