'Hero' Teen Dies After Raising $80,000 for Fellow Boy With Cancer As Final Wish

A teenager who raised over $80,000 for a young boy with cancer has himself passed away with the disease, his family have revealed.

Rhys Langford, from Ebbw Vale in Wales, U.K., died on Tuesday evening at his home, aged 19.

Langford had made headlines earlier this year after raising the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars for Jacob Jones, a six-year-old from the same town who has also been fighting cancer—a type known as neuroblastoma.

The teenager had made the decision to help the young boy as much as he could, donating £1,000 ($1,354) of his life savings to Jones personally as well as setting up a crowdfunding campaign so that others could, too.

Langford had been diagnosed with a type of cancer called osteosarcoma, which starts in the bones, back in October 2020.

What followed was many months of intensive chemotherapy as well as many other medical interventions including surgery in the hopes that his life could be saved.

Langford's treatment ended in August 2021, according to local news outlet Wales Online. But his cancer returned within months, and doctors found it had spread very quickly to several areas of his body. Doctors said there was nothing that could be done.

But Langford decided there was still another way he could fight cancer.

"I know nothing can be done for me now but as one of my many last wishes I would like to help Jacob and help him fight this awful disease," he wrote on the fundraising page for Jones.

"I know what the treatments and awful drugs do to your body! It's hell. Jacob is now six and has been fighting this disease most of his life. It should not be this way! Jacob's family are looking to raise money again for treatment."

Neuroblastoma, the type of cancer which Jones has, starts in certain early forms of nerve cells that are often found in an embryo or fetus. It occurs most often in infants and young children, according to the American Cancer Society.

Treatments for neuroblastoma are complex and varied and can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant.

Langford started the fundraiser on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe on January 16th this year. Within just a few days it had reached £10,000 ($13,544), and kept on going.

As of Thursday morning the fundraiser, titled "Rhys's dying wish! To help Jacob fight again", had gained £63,431 ($85,925).

On the news of Langford's death, the "Jacob's Fight" Facebook group for Jones made a post that described Langford as "Jacob's hero". The post continued: "Fly high Rhys and we are all so proud and thankful for what you did for our Jacob."

Rhys' mom Catherine Langford wrote on Facebook that her son "lay down his sword and died peacefully at home with all his family around him."

Hospital patient
A stock photo shows a hospital patient—not anyone identified in this article—lying in a bed. A teenager has passed away after raising the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars for a young boy with cancer. Getty