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Jerika Bolen, Wisconsin teen who chose to end her life, dies

Jerika was battling spinal muscular atrophy Type 2
Posted: 4:39 PM, Sep 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-22 17:37:06-04

APPLETON, Wis. — Jerika Bolen, the 14-year-old Wisconsin girl whose decision to end her life in the face of a terminal illness drew national attention and debate, has died.

Bolen died in hospice care Thursday, according to the Sheboygan County Medical Examiner's Office. She battled spinal muscular atrophy Type 2, which often claims lives before adolescence.

Earlier this year, she made the difficult decision to end her life after battling the rare and incurable disease.

In July, more than 1,000 people showed up to support Jerika  at a "Last Dance" prom. 

“It’s so crazy that people want to come here for little ol’ me,” she said that night.

Bolen spent 12 hours a day on a ventilator, and was often in extreme pain.

"I told Jerika I love her so much and that I will not let her suffer," Jerika's mother Jen Bolen said. "If it's that bad, then it's okay and I will find a way to be okay."