Boy treated at CHOP for leukemia passes away after cancer returned

- A young boy who was treated for leukemia at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has died, after his parents announced the cancer had returned.

Jackson, 7, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia back in August 2015. After years of failed treatments, the Florida family came all the way to Philadelphia for an experimental T-cell Therapy at CHOP.

Getting here was half the battle, as Jackson couldn't fly commercial from Florida because he was too sick. A social media campaign about Jackson went viral.

A Good Samaritan, who wants to remain anonymous, donated his Learjet and the services of his pilot.

His parents, Regina Failla and Eric Hunter, started a Facebook page called 'Action 4 Jackson' to provide updates on his progress to friends and  family, which quickly grew to a following of over 11,000 people.

In April, Jackson's parents posted a video sharing a special announcement. They had just received word from their doctor that Jackson's T-cell Therapy was successful and he was cancer-free.

READ MORE: Boy travels to CHOP for treatment after social media campaign

Sadly, on Tuesday they made a devastating announcement that the cancer returned. They had asked everyone to keep them in their prayers. 

Friday morning, the family announced that Jackson had passed away shortly after 10:30 p.m. Friday night.

"We held him to us as he left the earthly shell that had betrayed him and trapped him and now he is free of all pain, anxiety, tubes, chemicals, and worry. He can move again, he can be Jack again," they wrote.

MORE: Boy treated at CHOP for leukemia enters hospice care

The family says they surrounded him with love on his final day, and had him baptized with his brother.  

"After he passed a beautiful calm came over Eric Hunter and I. We were of course devastated but we were also comforted knowing he was no longer in pain, he was whole again and his fight was finally over," they added.

The family also took the time to thank everyone who had followed Jackson's life, and prayed for him through his fight.

"We want to thank all of you so much for loving Jack and praying for him as fervently as you did. We also thank you for all of the support you have shown to us, we are so grateful and our hearts are so full of love. We don't know yet what is next for Action4Jackson but we know we want to do great things in his name so please stay tuned for that," they wrote. 

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