Swimmer Cassidy Sheng has tragically lost her long battle with cancer at the age of 14, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) has announced.
Sheng, who lost her leg as a result of an earlier bout of the illness, had aspired to compete in her home Parapan Games in Toronto this summer, and was featured in the CPC's "It's More Than Sport" recruitment ad campaign when she was 12.
The youngster had grown particularly close to 19-time Paralympic medallist and sporting idol Stephanie Dixon, who is also Assistant Chef de Mission for the Toronto Games, in recent months.
"It was really an honor to have met and gotten to know Cassidy," said Dixon in a glowing tribute to Sheng.
"She is an incredible individual who is filled with so much kindness, passion and light.
"She was very young but she really showed the world that it's not how much time you have on this earth, but what you do with that time.
"She has touched so many people's lives and her sprit does live on in our hearts."
CPC chief executive Karen O'Neill also spoke of her devastation at the loss and she added: "Cassidy and her parents have been so generous in sharing their story and in inspiring others to get involved in Para-sport.
"We are devastated at the loss of this fearless, smart and strong young Canadian.
"Our thoughts are with Cassidy's family at this most difficult time."
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