The pageant community and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, the fiancée of Tim Tebow and former Miss South Africa, mourned her sister’s death on Instagram on May 4.
Nel-Peter’s 13-year-old sister, Franje, was suffering from cerebellar agenesis before she died, according to The South African.
The former beauty pageant contestant took to Instagram to announce her sister’s death.
View this post on Instagram
“My little Princess, Angel on Earth, biggest joy and baby sister, Franje, passed away earlier today,” Del-Peters said.
“Our hearts are aching beyond measure but I am grateful knowing she’s forever relieved of the pain she experienced on earth,” she added
“She’s laughing, running and playing in heaven just like we always hoped she would on earth.”
“She’s free! Thank you for all your prayers, love and support … ”
The Instagram post consisted of one poster and two photos.
The poster gave a reference to Romans 8:38-39 in The Bible:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The next photo was of Nel-Peters and Franje sharing an intimate moment and the last one was of Franje smiling to the camera.
An outpouring of support from the pageant community was found in the comments section.
“I’m so sorry for your loss sweet Demi. My heart breaks for your family. Praying for you and your family,” said Nia Sanchez, Miss USA 2014.
“Think of you and your family Demi. Always here for you sister! I know Franje’s beautiful soul is shining in heaven,” said Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff, Miss Teen USA.
“So sorry for your loss Demi. This is really heartbreaking news. Sending love to you and your family.. Please stay strong,” said Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015.
Iris Mittenaere, Miss France and Miss Universe 2016 said, “so sorry for your loss … sending you love.”
Her fianceé also posted on Instagram to mourn his sister-in-law.
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“Our loss but heavens gain,” Tebow said. “So grateful for the hope we have of being reunited with the ones we love through our Heavenly Father. Mr & Mrs Peters and @demileighnp we are praying for you and love you so much.”
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) May 6, 2019
The rare condition is described by the National Organization for Rare Disorders as the complete absence of the cerebellum—part of the brain responsible for the coordination of muscles, limbs, eyes, and tongue. It also contributes to learning, memory, language, and behavior.
“The signs and symptoms of cerebellar agenesis can vary greatly from one individual to another. According to the medical literature, some individuals with cerebellar agenesis have had only mild symptoms. In fact, in some reported cases, it has been claimed that motor function may be almost normal, perhaps due to partial compensation from other areas of the brain. Reports in the medical literature discuss individuals with cerebellar agenesis who had a normal lifespan, attended regular schools and found employment and lived productive though often ‘simple’ lives,” said the website.