A 10-year-old Redmond girl who underwent an experimental cancer treatment in Philadelphia earlier this year died Saturday.
Family friend Camie Hewitt confirmed the child passed away at home.
Avrey Walker had been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia since she was 4, undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy. She had relapsed three times since first becoming ill.
No services had yet been scheduled for Avrey, whose story touched many in the Redmond community, prompting fundraisers and prayer vigils there and in her parents' hometown of Coquille.
At the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in March, Avrey became the seventh child in the world to participate in a clinical trial that targeted blood cancers like chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and the cancer of the immune system's B-cells that Avrey suffered from.
Doctors drew immune system T-cells from Avrey's body, then genetically altered them and grew them in a laboratory to function as cancer-cell killers.
The new cells were reintroduced to Avrey's body in hopes they would eradicate the cancer. The experimental treatment, which is still in clinical trials, is considered a last resort for those with certain blood cancers. While it hasn't worked for every patient, in some instances it has eliminated any trace of cancer in the body.
Initial reports showed Avrey to be cancer-free after the treatment, according to a previous report in The Bulletin. But, her father, Aaron Walker, reported in June that the cancer had returned. Later that month, Avrey had a second treatment with the T-cells.
In August, she underwent aggressive chemotherapy in Portland to try to achieve a remission so she could have a bone marrow transplant, Aaron Walker said in an update to his Pray for Avrey Walker Facebook page. The chemotherapy did not work. In September, Avrey came home to Redmond.
In a February story in The Bulletin, Avrey said her favorite things were fishing, her friends, her sister and catching snakes.
She is survived by her parents, Aaron and Christal Walker, and her older sister, Maddy.