Eight-year-old Nathan Beatty received freedom from his suffering on Independence Day.
Nathan’s family posted a Facebook message Tuesday announcing he had passed away late that morning. It was the end of his 10 1/2-month battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a rare and usually fatal brain tumor.
The Beattys — parents Clint and Tara and Nathan’s older brother, Colin — have only lived in Somervell County since May 2017. That move happened when Clint, a Highway Patrol trooper, was transferred from El Paso.
Nathan’s story captured the hearts of thousands of people — locally and in other parts of the country. More than 13,500 people were following his family’s post on the Facebook page called Nathan’s Journey with DIPG.
Tuesday’s announcement by the family stated, in part: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce our beautiful, strong, happy, brave little super hero took his last breath at 11:15 am this morning. He was surrounded by his family and told us he'd be with us forever. Please enjoy the fireworks tonight and think of our Nathan, as he had loved seeing them so much. Now he has a view from heaven!
“We will post more later but for now please just remember our fighter. Tell someone a joke. Set off some fireworks. Put on your Nathan Strong shirt. Go play some soccer! We know he is! Thank you all for your love and support.
“Fly high my little one. Dance among the stars that you loved so much! I will see you soon, handsome banana.”
The Beattys tried several treatment options for Nathan that included radiation therapy, which he completed last October. Some progress was gained on the inoperable brain tumor with the radiation, but it began to grow once again. Nathan’s treatment included use of steroids, which caused body swelling as he gained 50 pounds.
His parents later posted that they were focused on keeping Nathan as pain-free as possible and he remained under their care at home until his passing.
On Monday, a message posted by Nathan’s parents said, “We have fought this for a long 10 1/2 months and have researched everything we could. We now just want to enjoy our time with our boy and keep him pain free and comfortable. Though we appreciate the thoughts, we are doing all we promised him we would since the beginning.”
That post also stated that the family would be celebrating Nathan’s ninth birthday — which would have been on Aug. 27 — early “with a small little party for him tomorrow and he is excited for that and looking forward to fireworks.”
Nathan and his parents put together what they called his “bucket list” — activities he wanted to experience while he was still able to travel.
The ever-changing list of about a dozen of Nathan’s fondest wishes resulted in several fun events. A highlight for Nathan was a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, in October for a visit to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” That was made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Nathan loved soccer, and even got to meet his favorite professional star, Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders.
After Nathan’s death was announced, Dempsey sent a Twitter message stating, “Just want to say my thoughts and prayers are with Nathan and his family. Much love lil bro rest easy.”
Nathan received a “promposal” from Glen Rose High School student Amalie Brewer for the 2017 prom in late May. Brewer, a junior last year at GRHS who is in remission from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, attended the prom with Nathan.
After that fun outing, Clint Beatty told the Glen Rose Reporter, “Once again, we appreciate what everybody has done. The whole community. It’s an endless gift.”