Ben Breedlove, an Austin, Texas, teenager who suffered a life-threatening heart disease for years that he chronicled on YouTube, died on Christmas Day, but not before recording his final videos.
Breedlove, 18, who cheated death three times previously, died on Christmas after years of battling a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to NBC news affiliate KXAN.
The teen started his own YouTube channel, Breedlove TV and OurAdvice4You, which he used as an outlet to explain the effects of living with a potentially fatal disease his entire life growing up. He shared his feelings on dating, offering advice for teens facing hardships.
On Dec. 18, Breedlove recorded his final set of videos in which he talked about death, feeling at peace with the inevitable, and his battle to postpone death through a series of placards he used to tell his story.
The first time I cheated death was when I was 4, he said in one of the videos. I had a life-threatening seizure. Scary, right?
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Breedlove said, while maintaining a positive attitude of the time, he does regret growing up battling the disease which led him to multiple brushes with death at ages four, 14 and one month before his death.
I was never allowed to play sports that my friends did, he said. It kinda sucks that I missed out on that part of my life.
Breedlove went on to describe a recent experience where he was rushed to a hospital wearing a suit, joined by his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi.
There was this big bright light above me, Breedlove said. I told my mom, 'Look at the bright light' and pointed up. She said she didn't see anything. I then looked in the mirror, I was proud of myself of my entire life, everything I have done. It was the BEST feeling.
His story was picked up by many major news outlets and garnered the attention of Cudi, who posted his sentiments on his blog following the death of Breedlove.
I am so sad about Ben Breedlove. I watched the video he left for the world to see, and him seeing me in detail, in his vision really warmed my heart. I broke down... To Ben's family, you raised a real hero, he's definitely mine. You have my love.
After his death, a family friend named David Murff started a fundraising effort to help Breedlove's family.
Even though this video is getting tons of attention, people are being touched and inspired, and Ben has even been called a HERO by KID CUDI, the Breedlove family lost their son, Murff wrote. We think getting a fundraiser going and sending the money down to the family would be a good start. My cousins and their family are close friends with the Breedloves.
Also, a friend of a friend was very close with Ben and she thinks it's amazing and that Ben would LOVE it. Ben's family will receive the money and will be able to donate it to whatever charity or cause they feel drawn to in Ben's name. This way, Ben will be remembered for his incredible impact on so many and the selfless giving he inspired. It will be Ben's last Christmas present to the world. This is also a way to show how much Ben meant, how many people he is touching with his videos, spread this incredible story, and that his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers!
As of Tuesday afternoon, the fundraiser has earned $240 in donations toward its $1,000 goal.
View Ben Breedlove's final videos one week before he died on Christmas below.