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Girl who helped legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota dies at age 8

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A girl who along with her parents helped secure laws legalizing medical marijuana in Minnesota has died at the age of 8.

Katelyn Pauling of Montevideo had epilepsy and the nervous system disorder Batten Disease, and the Associated Press reports she made several visits to the state Capitol last year with parents Jeremy and Kirsty as they fought to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes.

Thanks to their efforts, it will be legal in July to use cannabis oil to treat children with seizure disorders; the Star Tribune says its use can reduce the number of seizures from hundreds a day to almost zero in some cases.

"She did a lot while she was here," her father told the newspaper. "Bringing her [to the Capitol] and letting people hear her story changed a lot of people's minds and is going to help a lot of people."

"She was here for a reason. I think she fulfilled her reason and she said, 'Dad, I'm done fighting. I don't want to hurt no more,'" he added.

Katelyn died at her home on Friday, and her obituary was written by her two older sisters, Kaylee and Kassey, who paid tribute to the "best baby sister ever."

"She was a very fashionable little girl, that loved sparkly, bright colored and funky outfits as well as make-up," read the obituary, which also features several fond recollections of a "mischievous" girl who loved riding horses, going to school, camping, and spending time with her family.

A posting on the Katelyn's Faith Facebook page earlier this month mentioned that the 8-year-old's health had been declining, remarking that she had "fought a hard battle" but that her body had started to shut down.

"Katelyn came to rest on Friday March 20, 2015, at home surrounded by her family," her obituary reads. "She was loved and will be missed by everyone that was part of her life."

Her funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church on North Fifth Street in Montevideo.

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