According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Wyatt Gillette was afflicted with Aicardi-Goutières syndrome, a rare genetic disease that caused his kidneys to fail and left him with a variety of debilitating conditions.
“One of the easiest decisions yet as Commandant was to make this 8-year-old a Marine,” said General Robert B. Neller, 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
According to Gillette’s father, 29-year-old Marine Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Gillette, Wyatt died peacefully and without pain.
“Thank you all so much for letting Wyatt into your hearts, and allowing him to make you smile, it was his favorite thing to do,” the elder Gillette wrote.
The Gillette family requested privacy in the meantime as the cope with the death of Wyatt, through a crowdsourcing campaign has been launched to assist in funeral expenses.
Born in August of 2008, Gillette was the 96th person to receive the honorary Marine title since the program began in 1992.
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