Cameron Boyce's younger sister and only sibling Maya Boyce is breaking her silence about the death of the Disney Channel star, recalling how they had a "normal and fun" time together hours before he passed away.
The 20-year-old Descendants and Jessie actor died unexpectedly at age 20 in his sleep on Saturday at his Los Angeles home after suffering a seizure, stemming from epilepsy, for which he was being treated.
"Yes, he died," Maya wrote on Instagram on Thursday, alongside a slideshow of childhood and recent photos of her and her brother. "Yes, I'm sad. Cameron was my best friend. He is someone I will always idolize. His smile could light up a room, unlike anyone else's. He was perfect. He always said that if you have a voice, you have the privilege of using that voice for change, and he did not take that idea lightly. He understand his responsibility as someone so many kids would look up to."
"Cameron always went out of his way to be giving and kind," Maya continued. "He did more with his 20 years of life, than most people ever could with 100 years. He was actively charitable. He traveled the world. He made creativity and art his life's mission and he encouraged others to do the same. Of course, I am devastated. I will be for the rest of my life. But what I'm holding onto, and what I encourage you to hold onto as well, is the memory of his endless optimism. He was sunlight wearing shoes. I can confidently say, he wants us to celebrate, grow, and persevere."
She added, "Yes, he died. Yes, I'm sad. I'm also happy. And grateful. I was with him hours before he died. It was normal and fun. We said, 'I love you.' He was happy. I spent 17 years knowing what it was like to be loved by Cameron Boyce. That is the most beautiful gift I have ever received."
Cameron is survived by his and Maya's parents, Victor and Libby Boyce.
On Wednesday, their dad posted on Instagram a photo of the actor hours before his death. It appears to be taken at a restaurant.
"My son. Just hours before he was snatched from our lives," Victor wrote. "I miss him terribly. I hope that no one ever has to feel the agony I'm feeling but no one is immune to tragedy. The outpouring of love and support our family continues to receive is so beautiful and appreciated. Thank you all for helping us through our worst possible situation."
"There are no words to describe how moved we are by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from our family, friends, and the world," Victor and Libby said in a joint statement to E! News. "Thank you, everyone, for encircling us with your love and respect of Cameron and concern for our family. He was the very definition of human kindness, and a light that will forever shine as his spirit lives on in all who knew and loved him. He was the rock of our family and he always had a positive, heartwarming, insightful and caring outlook on everything and everyone."
"The pain we have endured and are continuing to endure is indescribable, but we are making every effort to move forward and ensure that Cameron's legacy and all that he stood for is honored," they added. "He was and is, so cherished and we will hold him in our hearts forever. He is our shooting star."
On Thursday, the Disney Channel said in a statement to E! News that it is canceling the red carpet premiere event for The Descendants 3, which was scheduled for July 22.
With permission from the Boyce family, the telecast of the TV film itself will be dedicated in Cameron's memory. In addition, the Walt Disney Company will make a donation to the Thirst Project, a philanthropic organization to which Cameron was deeply committed.
The official cause of Cameron's death remains under investigation and is pending the results of an autopsy.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said in a statement on Thursday that "preliminary information suggests the death occurred under natural circumstances."