Gretchen Rossi’s late stepson, Grayson Smiley-Arroyo, died after his heart gave out “unexpectedly” over the weekend.
Grayson’s relative Becky launched a GoFundMe to help alleviate his mother’s financial worries and shed more light on the cancer battle that he had faced since he was 6 years old.
“Amazing Gray was originally diagnosed with brain tumors days following his 6th birthday. Doctors said he would likely survive only 2-3 years,” Becky wrote.
“Throughout his lifetime Gray had 29 surgeries, 21 of them were brain surgeries; 6 chemotherapy regimens, and countless appointments with doctors from California to New York.”
Becky explained that while Grayson’s tumors were “managed,” the intense treatments and subsequent complications “damaged almost every major system in his body.”
“In the end, Gray’s heart suddenly and unexpectedly gave out,” Becky wrote.
Rossi, 44, shared the heartbreaking news on Tuesday that her stepson had died at just 22.
“Our rational minds told us this day might come, but our hearts always held onto the hope that this day would not come to fruition 💔,” she began her Instagram post, which was comprised of photos of Grayson with his dad, Slade Smiley.
“We are beyond devastated and heartbroken over the loss off Gray. 😔 Grayson Arroyo-Smiley was such a special human being. He was an Angel on this earth and an incredible warrior…a warrior like no one has ever seen before. He fought everyday through his pain and discomfort to find joy in the smallest of things. He was always singing & dancing & laughing despite his circumstances.”
The “Real Housewives of Orange County” alum and Smiley, 49, who have been together for more than a decade, share daughter Skylar Gray, 3, whom they welcomed after a lengthy IVF journey. Her middle name is in honor of Grayson.
After his death, Rossi shared videos of her daughter spending time with her late stepbrother.