Boey Byers dead and obituary, died from cancer – cause of death

A little girl who won the hearts of thousands after her battle with cancer was broadcast on national TV has died. Jenessa “Boey” Byers, 8, of Corvallis, has a rare form of childhood cancer.

She died Friday at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, where doctors were treating her for pneumonia. Thousands of people fell in love with the little girl last summer after the hit series Makeover: Home Edition built her family a new home.

Jenessa Nicole “Boey” Byers tragically passed away on Friday, December 28, 2007 at the age of 8 after a valiant and unsuccessful battle with cancer. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Multnomah County, Ore., where doctors treated her for pneumonia. Boey was born May 20, 1999 and is buried in Oak Lawn Memorial Park, Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon, USA

Boye’s battle with a rare form of childhood cancer touched the hearts of Corvallis and the nation. In July, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to town, and with the help of thousands of local volunteers, her family built a new home on a lot in Lewisburg. The show about building Byers’ home aired nationwide in October. The girl was diagnosed with pneumonia on Saturday at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, said Russ Stiverson, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Corvallis, to which Byerses belongs. Boey was sent to Samaritan Albany General Hospital and then to Doernbecher.

“It was expected, but it was unexpected,” Stephenson said Friday. “Several cases have contributed to the decline in recent weeks.” Boey lobbied Congress to pass a Conquer Childhood Cancer Act that would increase funding for the treatment, prevention and cure of childhood cancer. Oregon lawmakers are now working to pass an additional funding bill, Stephenson said.

“She was wise beyond her years,” Stevenson said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever met an 8-year-old who can express her feelings like Boey does. Her spirit is just on fire and it’s infectious.”