"She was a fighter"; 16-year-old dies after battle with cancer

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PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT/ WSAZ) -- A community is mourning the loss of a teenager from Eastern Kentucky who died after a battle with cancer.

We first told you about Shalei Cobb's fight earlier this month. At the beginning of July, the 16-year-old's family was optimistic about her recovery. The young girl from Pike County was receiving treatment in Cincinnati, Ohio and hoping for a bone marrow transplant.

A post on Pike County Central High School's Facebook page says Cobb died at 11:05 Wednesday morning, surrounded by family.

"It is with broken hearts that we post that rising sophomore Shalei Cobb lost her battle to leukemia this morning," the post states. "She was surrounded by her family. We will be posting arrangements as they are made available. Please keep her brother Ein, as well as the rest of her family, friends, and school family in your thoughts and prayers."

About five months ago, Cobb was diagnosed with leukemia, but she had been sick since she was a baby. At just eight months old, she was diagnosed with a rare disease that affected her white blood cells.

Deanna Smith, Shalei’s aunt, says she was a real fighter.

"Just that sparkly smile and that go get them attitude. She was a fighter."

Smith says even though Shalei is gone she knows she is watching down.

"Our little angel. I mean she really is now."

Bethany Thompson, Shalei’s teacher, says she was not only loved by her family but loved by everyone she came in contact with.

"She was a lovely person. Lovely in the classroom as far as a student. She was a lovely friend. She was a lovely person."

Thompson says that walking into school in August will not be the same.

"It will be very sad. Like I said she had a lot of friends who loved her."

The visitation for Shalei is Friday from 6 to 10 at the Community Funeral Home and the funeral is Sunday at 2.

Donations to help the family can be dropped off at the funeral home.

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