Instagram influencer Ashley Stock is facing every parent's worst nightmare as she and her family mourn the loss of her 3-year-old daughter, Stevie, who died Wednesday.
Stevie, who had just celebrated her third birthday two weeks ago and was spending time at home, had an aggressive brain tumor and was diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of childhood cancer. On Friday, Stock, 36, shared the sad news of her daughter's passing on Instagram.
"Stevie Lynn Stock 3 years old," she wrote alongside a photo of Stevie's little hand and a home video. "Seed Planter. Miracle Maker. Light Giver. Heart Healer. Blue eyed, dimpled smile, curly haired forever baby girl. Adored little sister, daughter and friend. At 1:05pm on May 27th, Stevie took her final breath in our arms."
Stock has been sharing the journey of Stevie's last days since she learned of her diagnosis in April. The little girl was admitted to Children's Hospital Los Angeles after she lost motor function. Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, is a type of tumor that usually starts in the brain stem and affects children ages 5 to 10 years old. Because of the risky location of the this type of tumor, surgery to remove it is not feasible and the cancer is incurable.
"There have been many miracles and countless God moments that I’ll put into words when my heart has strength," Stock continued in her post. "For now, I’m overwhelmed with relief that she’s at peace but I’m also feeling crushed by a pain so intense i can’t put it into words."
Stock, who runs the website Little Miss Momma, has 350,000 Instagram followers and is beloved by fans for her style and openness about parenting, autism and her own anxiety issues.
In a post in April, Stock opened up about some of her feelings at the time. "How do you put worst case scenario into words?" she wrote next to a series of photos and a video that included her husband, Ben, holding Stevie, and a photo of the MRI scan showing Stevie's tumor. "That’s what I’m sitting here trying to figure out, in between holding my baby and hyperventilating with my head between my knees. Today we learned the news that Stevie’s tumor is a form of cancer called DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma). And it has a 0% survival rate. We are shattered. Broken. Gutted. Somehow my body continues to produce tears and ugly crying has become my only release."
Throughout the ordeal, Stock has relied on her husband for support. She shared a photo of them together and explained how they've continued to get through difficult times.
"Ben has made sure we take time every day to just talk and be together," Stock wrote. The couple also have two sons, Wesley, 10 and Sawyer, 7.
In early May, Stock shared a video from Stevie's Make-a-Wish birthday party, which included a petting zoo, colorful doughnuts and even an appearance from Stevie's favorite character, Peppa Pig.
"It was hard. And beautiful. And magical. And joyful. And heart wrenching. And full of so so so so much love," Stock posted, sharing memories from the special day. "God was present in every detail and inspired every hand who made this Wish possible. You are all part of our family now."
The celebration came before Stevie's actual birthday on May 15, and Stock later posted that she was glad they had celebrated then before her daughter's health started to deteriorate.
"Stevie turns 3 today. Today I’m so grateful we celebrated early because these days she’s hurting," Stock posted. "Today she stays on the couch in her cozy little corner. Today she gets flush with pain and grabs her head and closes her eyes with a grimace. Today she has seizures and tremors and lethargy. Between the pain, she smiles and giggles and admires her glitter fingernails and asks for us to bring her more surprises and blueberry muffins. Her verbal communication abilities are declining more each day but the way she communicates with her eyes holds a wisdom and a knowing far beyond my own."
A series of pictures that accompany Stock's words show Stevie as a newborn, celebrating other birthdays and flanked by her older brothers.
"She doesn’t know what’s happening, but she KNOWS what’s happening," wrote Stock. "And she is brave as hell."