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Franklin County teen dies after years-long battle with brain cancer

Kayla Spangler
Kayla Spangler homecoming
Kayla Spangler
Kayla Spangler
Posted at 1:06 PM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-08 15:11:48-05

FRANKLIN COUNTY — An eastern Indiana teenage girl who had been battling brain cancer for more than two years has died.

Kayla Spangler, 17, of Metamora, died Tuesday after a nearly two-year-long fight against Glioblastoma, according to her obituary through Urban Winkler Funeral Home in Connersville.

Kayla, a Franklin County High School student, was the subject of a video message from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who was Kayla's idol and favorite actor.

Kayla Spangler
Kayla Spangler, 17, who had been battling brain cancer for more than two years, has died.

Johnson said Kayla had tons of supporters, family and friends trying to get her information to him.

Johnson goes on to read off some of Kayla's favorite things, including her love for horror movies, sushi and reptiles. He even prided her on loving snakes, something Johnson said he's not the biggest fan of.

The video can be viewed here:

But according to Johnson, Kayla's family said her favorite thing is him.

"Kayla thank you for being a fan," Johnson said. "I know that you're fighting hard. Keep fighting. Keep inspiring everybody around you, including me now."

Johnson also said he was going to get some "cool stuff" together to send to Kayla.

"You're my biggest fan," Johnson said. "Well, now I'm your biggest fan."

Kayla Spangler

Kayla was born on March 31, 2005, in Hampton, Virginia. She is the daughter of Lindsey Spangler and late Petty Officer First Class Jacob Spangler. Kayla's mother Lindsey says her husband died in 2018.

Kayla is also preceded in death by her uncle Eric Spangler.

When she attended Franklin County High School, Kayla participated in JAG, volunteered at the school food bank and was crowned Homecoming queen her senior year.

Kayla Spangler homecoming
Kayla Spangler dawns her 2022 homecoming dress and crown.

"Even though she battled cancer for over 2 years, she never let it bring her down and always had a positive attitude and outlook on life. She didn’t let a terminal disease stop her from pursuing her dreams," Kayla's obituary states.

Visitation will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 10 at Crosspointe Biker Church, 1130 E Baseline Road, Connersville. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 pm.

Memorial contributions can be made to Wolf Creek Habitat. To sign the online guestbook, click here.

Kayla Spangler
Kayla Spangler holds hands with her family members the night before her passing.

Per the National Brain Tumor Society, glioblastoma has a 6.8% survival rate, and the average length of survival for glioblastoma patients is estimated to be around eight months.