Cape Town, May 5: Former Miss Universe 2017 and Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in an emotional Instagram post revealed that her younger sister has died on Saturday night. The pageant-winner revealed to her followers that Franje, aged just 13, had lost her battle with a lifelong condition, cerebellar agenesis. Franje was born without a cerebellum, restricting her ability to talk, walk and develop as most other children would.
The cerebellum receives information from the spinal cord, sensory systems and other parts of the brain to regulate motor movement. In a social media post, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters paid tribute to her sister, and thanking her fans for their "love and support". Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray Winning Moment Video: Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Crowns Miss Philippines as Her Successor (See Pics).
“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,” said the 23-year-old model.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters posted three pictures to her account, including two with Franje and a quote from Romans in The Bible. The text read “you are loved forever.” Meanwhile, Former Miss Universe’s partner Tim Tebow – a former National Football League (NFL) star and currently a Baseball professional – also posted a touching tribute to the late Franje.
"Our loss but heavens gain. So grateful for the hope we have of being reunited with the ones we love through our Heavenly Father. Mr & Mrs Peters and @demileighnp we are praying for you and love you so much," said Tebow in a post.
Our loss but heavens gain. So grateful for the hope we have of being reunited with the ones we love through our Heavenly Father. Mr & Mrs Peters and @demileighnp we are praying for you and love you so much. pic.twitter.com/O3Zu7XcHTu
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) May 5, 2019
The fashion community were quick to extend their condolences to the African model. Two former Miss Universe's– Pia Wurztbach and Iris Mittenaere– commented with their support, as did the former Miss US Sarah Summers.
"So sorry for you loss Dami... This is really heart breaking news.. Sending love to you and your family.. Please stay strong," said Wurztbach.
"So sorry for loss sending you love," said Mittenaere. "Love you dearly Dems. You're full of grace even in the hardest times," said Summers.