Ben Sauer, the Clarence 5-year-old who was the inspiration for the #Blue4Ben campaign, died Tuesday night after battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Ben's story, chronicled in his mother's blog, captured the hearts of Western New Yorkers, prompting locals to tweet their support of the little boy and his family and post hopeful messages on Facebook, many adopting the #Blue4Ben hashtag.
The Sauer family formally announced the passing of little Ben around 4 p.m. today on Facebook, spurring another wave of encouraging and introspective Twitter and Facebook posts -- some of which have been imbedded below.
We followed little Ben's story. We prayed. We cried. And now we mourn...with the Sauer Family, our… http://t.co/NyHtnwY8Ja— Jill Kelly (@HJKforever) May 15, 2014
Prayers today for Ben's family! RIP little guy. #BlueforBen— Carl Paladino (@CarlPaladino) May 14, 2014
RIP Ben Sauer. Thoughts & prayers for his family & friends. #Blue4Ben— Craig Kanalley (@ckanal) May 14, 2014
We are thinking of Ben Sauer today and our prayers are with his loving parents, siblings & family. #blue4ben— Rep. Chris Collins (@RepChrisCollins) May 14, 2014
God Bless Ben Sauer, may he rest in peace. His life touched more than his family could ever know. #blue4ben— Nick Langworthy (@NickLangworthy) May 14, 2014