Ed Sheeran accepts fan's proposal, making her wish come true days before her death

Ed Sheeran with Katie Papworth and her family.
Sheeran with Papworth and her family.Courtesy of DreamMaker Foundation

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By Meena Hart Duerson

Ed Sheeran made one very sick fan's dream come true last week, giving her some "genuine smiles" just days before she died.

Katie Papworth, 19, was going through her second battle with cancer when she got to meet the singer backstage at his concert on Oct. 30.

Ed Sheeran and fan Katie Papworth, who died days after meeting her idol.Today

The two then shared a special moment, when she presented Sheeran with a ring and he accepted her proposal — one of her very last wishes.

Papworth died on Friday, Nov. 7, according to the charity that helped arrange the meeting between her and Sheeran.

"Katie sadly passed away this morning in her parents' arms," Angela Cook, a representative for the Les Hoey MBE DreamMaker Foundation, told TODAY.com. 

Sheeran with Papworth and her family.Today

Papworth was first diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 11, according to Cook. After the tumor spread to her spine, she underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy over a period of 18 months, which left her temporarily unable to speak or walk.

She recovered in her early teens, Cook said, and remained cancer-free until November 2011, when the cancer returned in her spine.

Sheeran with Papworth's painting.Today

As Papworth was a huge fan of Sheeran, her mother Tricia bought tickets for them to see his concert last year. But as the teen's condition worsened, Tricia reached out to the DreamMaker Foundation to see if they could help fulfill a fantasy of her daughter's.

"Katie's idol is Ed Sheeran," Cook said, "so when Katie deteriorated, Tricia contacted us to ask if we could make it happen for her to meet Ed and propose." The foundation happily obliged.

"Our Katie proposed and he kept her ring and a Lego House painting she had done for him," Tricia said after the proposal, according to Cook. "Sometimes it's hard to reach her but she gave genuine smiles tonight."

The Les Hoey MBE DreamMaker Foundation is a small Scottish charity that works to make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. "We can't thank Ed Sheeran and his fantastic team enough for helping us with this," Cook said.