Teen fashion blogger Karina Xavier, whose fans include supermodel Gisele Bündchen, passed away Thursday after battling cancer.
A Brazilian native whose family moved to Malden, Massachusetts, when she was 3, Karina launched the blog Chic by Karina as a way to share her love of teenage fashion and style. With more than 185,000 followers on Instagram, the 16-year-old was mourned Thursday in a post on her blog’s Facebook page.
“This morning God took our beautiful Karina,” reads the post. “This is a tough time but we know she is in a better place, in peace. Her legacy will live on forever, and she will always be remembered. … [We] love you Karina. Forever in our hearts.”
In 2011, Karina was diagnosed with bone cancer, which went into remission after treatments but later returned. That same year, she launched the blog to make girls her age “feel beautiful no matter what,” according to a video on her site, and met Bündchen at a Dana Farber Cancer Institute event in Boston.
Last year, Bündchen — who, like Karina, was born in Brazil and found a home in Massachusetts — visited the teen the day after Christmas to show her support and exchange beauty tips.
After they hung out, Bündchen declared Karina a “warrior, an inspiration of positivity and courage” on Twitter.
Karina shared photos of the hangout on her Instagram account, adding, “From the moment you surprised me, until the moment you left, I was so shocked. Thank you so much for taking time off of your day to come visit me and spend some time with me! Also thank you for your kind words and your very meaningful gifts! You are a great person and you will keep inspiring me.”
Yesterday, Bündchen expressed her condolences on Instagram.
“Last year I met a special girl,” reads the English caption next to a photo of the supermodel and Karina. “[She] inspired me and so many others with her strength, positivity and love for life. Today she became an angel. RIP @chicbykarina. Sending all my love to her family.”
Less than a week ago, while hooked up to breathing tubes, Karina bravely flashed a peace sign while posing for a photo with her brother. “Selfie with my brother,” she posted Sept. 27. “Feeling very good today!”
But her health declined this week, as the website reported she was struggling to breathe. “We need a miracle!” reads a post published Wednesday, the day before she passed away. “Karina’s been fighting with all she has left and day by day we see more of how strong she really is! #prayforkarina.”
Late Thursday night, Karina’s mother, Daniela, posted a photo of herself and her daughter on Instagram, thanking Karina’s fans for their support and mourning the loss of her “best friend,” according to a translation of her text.
The mother added, “[You were an] angel that God gave me the privilege to call daughter! … It is also my promise that your story does not end here.”
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