STOW — A 12-year-old Stow boy dubbed "Kourageous Keith" as the community rallied behind him while he battled cancer, died Monday.

His mother, Taylore Woodard, posted on the Kourageous Keith Facebook page that Keith Burkett died at 12:57 p.m. Monday, saying he "earned his angel wings."

"I just want everyone to know what an amazing, kind-hearted, loving, giving, gentle soul that he was," Woodard said in a Facebook message Tuesday. "And I hope that he taught everyone (that) life is short and that you should make the most of it and to always be loving and kind to each other, never take anything or anyone for granted and despite any obstacle you come across that you never give up. There is always hope, and miracles happen every day."

Keith's calling hours will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at United Methodist Church on Fishcreek Road in Stow. He will be laid to rest at 10 a.m. Friday at Silver Springs Cemetery.

The Stow community came together last month to give Keith an early Christmas, complete with a parade and houses along the route decorated for the holiday just for him.

"Christmas is my favorite holiday because of all the happiness and joy in the world," Keith said at the time.

Team Kourageous Keith T-shirts, with his favorite number 8 in his favorite color yellow and the bear he picked out on the front, were sold all over Stow.

His family held a small wedding ceremony for Woodard and her partner, Keith's stepfather Adam Woodard, last week in their home so Keith could take part in the ceremony after he said he wanted to walk his mother down the aisle before he died.

Keith's battle with a cancer that inflicts maybe 400 kids worldwide started with a chest pain six years ago on Christmas Eve.

At the time, an X-ray at Akron Children's Hospital uncovered enough fluid in Keith's lungs to crowd the beating of his heart. He was treated for pneumonia.

After the surgery, a doctor told Keith's parents the lower half of his left lung "looked like hamburger meat." A week later, a lump developed around the incision in his left side where tubes drained the fluid.

A biopsy identified the quickly growing mass of foreign cells as a rare type of cancer called undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma. Chemotherapy and radiation shriveled the cancer cells, which were surgically removed with his two lowest ribs. Keith got his first all-clear a few weeks later.

But the cancer returned before Thanksgiving the next year, then again in 2015 and, like never before, about six months ago. The cancer, which had always been on his left side, was found in his skull, his forehead, his neck, shoulders, hip and spine.

Last month, Woodard spoke with a Beacon Journal/Ohio.com reporter about talking with Keith about death.

"He said he didn't want to die alone. He's never died before. He doesn't know where to go," Woodard said.

"I told him to go toward the light," she said as the tears flowed.

Keith would have turned 13 in December.

Donations to help Keith's family with medical and other expenses can be made online at https://www.gofundme.com/kouragous-keith.