Tim Tebow and his fiancee, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, suffered a tragic loss this weekend.
Nel-Peters’ 13-year-old sister, Franje, died after battling an extremely rare lifelong condition called cerebellar agenesis, according to the South African.
“My little Princess, Angel on Earth, biggest joy and baby sister, Franje, passed away earlier today,” Nel-Peters wrote in an emotional Instagram post.
Franje was born without a cerebellum, severely limiting her ability to walk, talk and develop as most other children would.
Both Tebow and Nel-Peters paid tribute to Franje on social media with heartbreaking posts.
View this post on Instagram
My little Princess, Angel on Earth, biggest joy and baby sister, Franje, passed away earlier today. Our hearts are aching beyond measure but I am grateful knowing she’s forever relieved of the pain she experienced on earth. She’s laughing, running and playing in heaven just like we always hoped she would on earth . She’s free ! Thank you for all your prayers, love and support. ❤️ Lief jou vir altyd my Sussa en eendag sal ons weer bymekaar wees!
“Our hearts are aching beyond measure but I am grateful knowing she’s forever relieved of the pain she experienced on earth,” Nel-Peters wrote.
“She’s laughing, running and playing in heaven just like we always hoped she would on earth. She’s free! Thank you for all your prayers, love and support.”
The 2017 Miss Universe and humanitarian worker ended the message in their South African native language that translates: “Love you always my Sussa and someday we’ll be together again!”
Tebow posted a photo of all three of them together.
“Our loss but heavens gain. So grateful for the hope we have of being reunited with the ones we love through our Heavenly Father,” Tebow said on Instagram. “Mr & Mrs Peters and @demileighnp we are praying for you and love you so much.”
Franje brought the Tim and Nel-Peters together through Tebow’s “Night to Shine,” which celebrates people with special needs.
The couple wouldn’t be together if not for Franje.
View this post on Instagram
What a year @demileighnp! what’s crazy is I knew from day 1! You inspire me everyday with your kindness, sweetness, and courage! I don’t think it’s possible to love you more, but I know I will tomorrow and everyday after! My sweets! My universe! I love you! ? @kellybramanphotography
“I don’t know if you know, but I have a half-sister who was born with a disability, and his foundation works very closely with children with disabilities,” Nel-Peters said in an interview last summer.
“They have an event each year called ‘Night To Shine‘ and they host them each year in churches in different countries, and he invited me and my family. We started talking and we kinda haven’t stopped.”
It always makes me sad to hear about children dying. Rest in peace, kid.