AUSTIN (KXAN/NBC) — Abigail Arias, the 7-year-old Freeport native who stole hearts when she became an honorary member of the Freeport Police Department, died Tuesday after battling a rare childhood kidney cancer for years, the department announced on its Facebook page.
Abigail was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor in her kidney, a type of cancer that doctors said has no cure. She was first diagnosed with cancer at age 4 and after going through treatment and chemotherapy, she’d achieved remission. But a few months later, she was once again diagnosed with the aggressive disease.
In February, Abigail was sworn in as an honorary police officer at the Freeport PD, which had been a dream of hers. A week later, she was surprised with a helicopter ride with members of the department.
Abigail journeyed to Austin in February, where she took a tour around the Texas State Capitol and became an honorary Texas Ranger.
That day, she told KXAN Photojournalist Frank Martinez that her favorite moment inside the Captiol was getting to “bang the thing” — or as it’s more commonly known, a gavel.
Last month, Abigail’s family announced she was in hospice care. But despite her deteriorating condition, she was able to meet one of her heroes, Astros star Jose Altuve, before Game 1 of the World Series, according to KPRC in Houston. Abigail gave Altuve a bracelet that he wore to the game later that night.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Abigail Arias, the child who became an officer, a change agent for good and today, an Angel,” Freeport Police Chief Raymond Garivey wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “Her love, compassion, and most importantly, her magnanimous spirit, will live on for generations to come.”
On Tuesday, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen paid his condolences via Twitter, saying:
Many others also took to Twitter to express their gratitude and love for Abigail. Take a look: