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Teenage cancer patient who used social media to spread awareness of disease dies

Lauren “Lola” Scott  Chiodo, who fought cancer for the last four of her 16 years and told Fox News she wanted to use her own illness to bring awareness to other adolescents battling the disease, died Thursday.

She was a champion of social media, published her own bucket list -- which included skinny dipping and walking a red carpet -- and said her greatest hope was meeting singer Demi Lovato, something she never accomplished.

Lola, who was from northern Nevada, was interviewed by Fox News  last month. She was diagnosed with metastic retroperitoneal undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma in 2009 and went through five different chemotherapy treatments, 36 radiation treatments and two relapses.

“This morning my beautiful baby girl Lauren "Lola" Scott Chiodo left her physical body here on earth to start a new journey, one she told me she was so excited to begin,” her mother, Cherri Chiodo, wrote on Facebook Thursday.

“Words cannot explain our sadness but knowing that her spiritual soul is no longer ridden with cancer brings us solace. She is dancing with so many loved ones right now I can feel her joy. She will forever amaze me with the love she had for so many.” 

Lola is also survived by her brother Tyler.

Lola championed Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her own website lovelikelola.com to bring attention to her own struggles and triumphs with her disease in the hopes of bringing more awareness to adolescent and young adult cancer patients.

“It’s a wonderful thing, just putting it all out there and being vulnerable,” Lola told FOX. “Just having people tell me that I inspire them is what gets me through the day.”

She started her own wish list, #Lolasbucketlist, which included skinny dipping, eating a Doritos taco, walking a red carpet, and her greatest hope – meeting Lovato.  Strangers on Twitter and Instagram helped Lola tackle her bucket list by taking photos at special events or other places with a photo of Lola in hand.

Since her death, loyal followers, friends and family have begun using the hashtag #lovelikelola in honor of her life.

During a Skype interview, while attached to breathing tubes, Lola told Fox News doctors told her she was dying and the tumors had spread to her lungs.

 “Don’t be sad that you’re dying,” she said she often told herself. “Be happy that you get to fulfill all the things that you didn’t think you’d be able to do.”

She said one of her best memories while attempting to complete her bucket list over the last few months was a family trip to Lake Tahoe, Calif.

“We had our own private beach and house. We went parasailing, kayaking, jet skiing, skinny dipping, can you believe that?” she asked with a smile.

Lola said she was inspired by YouTube stars 13-year-old Talia Castellano, who became famous for her make-up tips, and 18-year-old Zach Sobiech, who inspired millions with his song “Clouds.” Both died from cancer within the last three months.

“She was a national teen spokesperson for young adult cancer,” said Matthew Zachary, founder of StupidCancer.org, a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to adolescent and young adult cancer patients.

“She wore it beautifully. She gave her own generation a huge boost in awareness and recognition for teens with cancer and young adults. It’s tragic, but it wasn’t unexpected. She lived more in the last six months than most people can live.”

Bryan Llenas currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC) and a reporter for Fox News Latino (FNL). Click here for more information on Bryan Llenas. Follow him on Twitter @BryanLlenas.

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