Kayleigh McClendon, 7-year-old from Hartselle, finishes fight with deadly brain disease

HARTSELLE, Ala. - At age 7, Kayleigh McClendon faced more trials than most of us ever will in our lifetimes.  She battled a deadly brain disease, inspiring thousands with her strength, courage and determination.

Tuesday, McClendon finished her fight.  She died, surrounded by her loving family.  Kayleigh's pain is over and she is healthy again, forever, as her mother expressed in a Facebook post.

"God granted Kayleigh perfect, beautiful peace," her mother 'Carrow wrote on the family's Prayers for Kaleigh Facebook page.  "She was not in pain. She was wrapped tightly in my arms with her Daddy by her side as she gently drew her last breath. God was so good to spare us from watching her struggle. And is she is in heaven. Dancing. Twirling. Laughing. Beautiful. Whole. Healthy."

Visitation for Kayleigh Blair McClendon will be Thursday, Nov. 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Central Baptist Church in Decatur.  There will be a celebration of life service on Friday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at Central Baptist Church with Dr. Rob Jackson officiating.  Burial will follow at Roselawn Cemetery.  Peck Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

There will also be a community prayer event at the Hartselle Civic Center on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. for anyone wanting to gather and lift the McClendon family up in prayers.

Kayleigh loved softball. She was a member of the 8U Hartselle Black All Star Team, which finished second in the state earlier in 2016. The team dedicated its performance to Kayleigh, playing every game for her. They even surprised her with a huge community welcome home event from radiation treatment over the summer.

The community also held a large rally in October to offer up prayers and strength for the McClendon family.  The town of Hartselle rallied around her, and thousands of people followed Kayleigh's journey on Facebook.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the McClendons and all who were close to Kayleigh.