Jordin Sparks' step-sister, Bryanna Jackson-Frias, has unfortunately died.
PEOPLE is reporting that the younger step-sibling of the star passed away on Tuesday (Jan. 30) evening after a lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia. She was only 16 years old.
Mayoclinic.org defines sickle cell anemia as "an inherited form of anemia — a condition in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body."
The site continues: "In sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body."
Sparks' mother, Jodi Jackson, revealed the sad news on her Facebook on Wednesday (Jan. 31). "Bry went peacefully to Heaven. I can’t help to think that she’s smiling just like this. Thank you all for your prayers," she captioned a photo of her now-deceased daughter. See that message below.
It was just on Tuesday that Sparks went on Instagram to ask fans for their prayers for her step-sister's recovery. “Please keep my little sister, Bryanna, in your prayers,” the American Idol alum said in an IG story. “She’s suffering from complications from sickle cell and is in the ICU fighting for her life.”
Sparks is now pregnant with her and her husband's first child. We're praying for her and her family during this devastating time.
Photo: Getty Images