Ebony Banks, a Houston teen who had been battling a rare cancer, died only days after her dream of speaking to idol and singer Beyonce was fulfilled.
A spokesperson for the Alief Independent School District, the school where Banks had been a student, made the confirmation of her passing early on Sunday morning.
“I understand she had a smile on her face till the very end,” said Craig Eichhorn to ABC News.
Hours following her death, students from Alief Hastings High School, where Banks recently graduated as well as the school where she had been member of their color guard for about four years, later organized a heartfelt candlelight vigil where the band practices.
They are also the same people to organize the original social media campaign over a week ago that got Beyonce to talk to the young girl, using her nickname Ebob along with hashtag #EbobMeetsBeyonce.
Once Beyonce made a FaceTime call with Banks on Wednesday, the young girl’s friends as well as new fans posted on Twitter in celebration of her big moment.
In the touching clip, Banks says to Beyonce she loves her, to which the singer replied, “I love you.”
Banks had been diagnosed with her rare cancer the summer prior, and began chemo in September, said her band director, one Paul Brodt.
Commitment and Legacy
Brodt said to ABC News a week ago that Banks always made every single effort possible to continue attending school and color guard lessons or competitions. Even earlier this month she attended a competition before her health began to deteriorate further.
Banks later had to remain in the hospital, even receiving her diploma at a special ceremony family and friends held at the MD Anderson, which was attended by around 100 people, including all 23 of her color guard teammates, members of the school’s faculty, administrators as well as hospital staffers.
“Our kids love her … and would do anything for her,” said Brodt last week. “She’s inspired everybody — me along with all of our kids.”