MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Austin Childers, whose long battle with mitochondrial disease inspired thousands, passed away Wednesday night.
Last season, the football field at First Presbyterian Day School's George S. Johnson Stadium was named after Childers, who many called the school's biggest fan.
The family released a statement on the Prayers for Austin Childers Facebook group:
"In an instant Austin's suffering has ended and he is forever free from the pain he has so courageously endured. Our hearts are broken, yet we do not grieve as those without hope. We know Austin is healed, he will suffer no more and that we will be together again for eternity in Christ."
Childers was diagnosed with the disease in 7th grade but still cheered on his teammates at games and practices until the pain became too much to bear. He graduated from the school in 2009.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, at the Worship Center at Ingleside Baptist Church.
The family will greet friends on Friday, March 7, 2014, from 4-7 p.m. at FPD's Austin Childers Field.