Superbubz, 6, loses cancer battle that touched community

FAIRFIELD, OH (FOX19) - The 6-year old boy whose battle against cancer touched the community and made national news when he softened even Joey Votto's gruff heart passed away early Friday.

Walter "Superbubz" Herbert spent his days at his Fairfield home surrounded by his parents, Wally and Emily Herbert,  and other family and close friends.

Superbubz fought a 2-year battle against neuroblastoma, one of the more common forms of childhood cancer.

The boy's story and his family's strength inspired others to rally around them to help.

His parents wanted to give him every opportunity to experience as many fun events as possible as they enjoyed their final weeks together.

Superbubz, who said he really preferred to be called "Walter," won hearts across the Tri-State - including those of Cincinnati professional athletes.

He met with the Cincinnati Bengals and served as honorary team captains for the Cincinnati Reds and FC Cincinnati, walking out onto the field with players before the game as the crowd chanted "Superbubz! Superbubz!"

His story gained national attention when Votto, the Reds first baseman, gave him a home-run bat and jersey right off his back during a game.

Superbubz finished 12 grades in two days to receive his high school diploma at Fairfield High School last month.

He left an indelible mark on pretty much everyone he came into contact with as he experienced as many of life's joys and landmark moments as he could.\

"Some people pop into your life & leave a lasting impression," wrote Colerain High School Football Coach Tom Bolden in a Tweet Friday morning.

"Superbubz did that for my boys, coaches and myself. Rest in peace my friend."

Superbubz's bravery was rewarded by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Cincinnati Police when he was declared an honorary chief for a day.

"The things that these officers have done for him today, I haven't seen him this energetic in a long time. He's super excited," his father said at the time.

Superbubz became sick without warning when he was just 4 years old.

His mother, Emily Herbert, said he was fine one day and then developed a sudden limp.

Concerned he may have inadvertently hurt his foot or leg, she took him to the doctor. That led to a battery of tests resulting in his stunning cancer diagnosis a few days later.

The Herbert family has a fundraiser to help with medical costs. Click here to donate.

Previous stories:

Terminally ill boy meets Bengals at practice: 'Win the game'

'Superbubz' presented diploma after finishing 12 grades in 2 days

'Superbubz' gets special visit from Santa Claus

 Copyright 2017 WXIX. All rights reserved.