Seven-year-old Isla Caton has died after a five-year battle with neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer.
West Ham United led tributes, saying they were “left heartbroken” by her passing.
Isla’s fight against the illness inspired the club to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to help fund treatment for her in the UK and Spain.
Her family said: “It is with the heaviest of broken hearts that we must announce Isla gained her angel wings early hours of this morning, it was very peaceful and surrounded by the continued love of Nicola, Michael & Millie.
“God bless our brave Isla.”
After becoming ill at the age of two, Isla was initially treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, according to West Ham United.
Isla’s mother Nicola Caton launched a fundraising campaign in May 2017 to help pay for her daughter’s care, which received support from the likes of boxer Tyson Fury, rapper Guvna B and dozens of former players.
“We were told in 2018 that Isla had three months to live so we sold everything we had and raised a lot of money and took Isla to Barcelona for life-saving treatment,” her mother Nicola Caton said on her fundraising page.
“We stayed in Spain for two years fighting but when COVID hit we had to return home.”
In March 2019, it was announced that Isla was cancer-free, but the disease came back.
The hearts of everyone in the West Ham United family are broken this morning. Rest in peace brave, beautiful Isla, you were an inspiration to us all ??? https://t.co/xu1gSyKtu8
— West Ham United (@WestHam) January 25, 2022
Family told treatment was ‘no longer effective’
Her mother previously said that in the past five years Isla “has undergone more treatment than I can even express – from chemo, radiation, two stem cell transplants, countless amounts of bone marrow taken, brain surgery as well as a 12-hour op to remove the main tumour.”
“She has had immunotherapy and MIBG therapy as well as so so much more,” she continued.
In December 2021, her parents Nicola and Michael were told that her treatment was no longer effective and she would have just a few weeks to live.
On Isla’s last JustGiving page, Nicola said: “We have now decided to spend our time making sure Isla has the most wonderful life we can give her and to make as many amazing memories as we can so instead of fundraising for medical costs we now feel it’s time to give Isla as much happiness as humanly possible – if anyone deserves it, it’s our baby girl.”
She added: “Isla is a real life superhero and we pray with all we are that we can get her well but for now we live for today and make that as magical as we can.”
West Ham United pay tribute
“The hearts of everyone in the West Ham United family are broken this morning,” the club said.
“Rest in peace brave, beautiful Isla, you were an inspiration to us all.”
The club added: “Sadly, Isla’s fight has come to an end, but her memory and legacy will live on forever.”
Guvna B called her a “special girl” with “such a legacy”.