A sick teenager who captured the hearts of people all around the world, including that of his hero John Cena, has passed away after a brave health battle.
Bryce McKiernan, 15, from Geelong, fiercely fought rare congenital disorder Kabuki Syndrome his entire life.
“In the early hours of this morning our beautiful Bryce became the brightest star in the sky. He is now resting peacefully with no pain,” his family wrote as part of a tribute on social media.
Late last year Bryce’s heart and kidney started to fail and doctors told his heartbroken parents he had just weeks to live.
Over the following months, the teen’s family set out to make all of Bryce’s dreams come true, including meeting his idol, wrestling legend John Cena.
“Most little kids carry around a teddy bear, Bryce carried a wrestler," his mum told the Geelong Advertiser last year.
"He sleeps with it, he has it in his hand all day, everyday.”
Upon learning he was going to finally meet with Cena, the sick teen burst into tears during the live surprise announcement on Sunrise that captured national headlines.
When the pair finally met, overwhelmed Bryce was lost for words.
Kabuki Syndrome is a "rare, multisystem disorder characterised by multiple abnormalities including distinctive facial features, growth delays, varying degrees of intellectual disability, skeletal abnormalities, and short stature," according to University of Michigan Medicine.
Children with Kabuki may also have feeding difficulties including gastroesphogeal reflux, poor sucking ability, and difficulty absorbing or digesting nutrients leading to malabsorption.
It’s so rare that it only occurs in approximately 1 in 32000 births.
Only four days ago his family posted to Facebook writing, “Things are really hard with Bryce now, he doesn’t have a whole lot of energy.”
“To say we are shattered, and heart broken would be an understatement right now. Life is so hard,” his family also said about his health recently as his condition continued to deteriorate.
There is currently no cure for Kabuki Syndrome.
Brave Bryce also met the Wiggles and had lunch with My Kitchen Rules judge Manu Feildel, another dream he had on his bucket list.