Louis Tomlinson‘s mother, Johannah Deakin, has died from leukemia, PEOPLE confirms. She was 43.
“It is with immeasurable sadness that Johannah Deakin’s family said goodbye to Johannah in the early hours of Wednesday, Dec. 7,” the family said in a statement. “Earlier this year Johannah was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia that required immediate and continuous treatment. We respectfully request that the family are given time and space to grieve in private.”
“Johannah was first and foremost a truly amazing mother to seven children – Louis, Lottie, Félicité, and two sets of twins, Phoebe and Daisy and Ernest and Doris — whose individual talents and success are testament to the principles and beliefs she instilled in them,” Deakin’s husband Dan Deakin said in a statement. “She was also an incredibly proud grandmother to [Louis’ son] Freddie.”
“Incredibly selfless, she would always look to put other people before herself,” Dan continued. “She desired nothing more than for everyone around her to be happy and loving. She worked tirelessly on numerous charity campaigns, creating memories for many individuals and their families. It wasn’t uncommon for Johannah to hear through the media of an individual in need of assistance, and she would immediately make it her objective to get that person what they often desperately needed, and rarely without success. These are the things that made Johannah happy and content in life, and all of which for me made her simply the perfect wife and best friend to face each day with. I thoroughly loved walking through life with her, and though five years was far too short a time, during that time we had so many lifetimes worth of happiness, adventures, and memories.
“We would like to send our sincere thanks to Professor Steve Mackinnon and his team at University College London Hospital where Johannah was hospitalized since May,” he said. “And during the last few weeks Professor John Snowden and his colleagues at Royal Hallamshire Hospital Sheffield.”
Tomlinson, 24, will go through with his previously scheduled appearance on The X Factor on Saturday as her final wish.
According to a source, Deakin, a midwife, had been looking forward to Tomlinson’s appearance on the stage where he first found fame with his One Direction band mates — and told PEOPLE that Tomlinson decided to proceed with the appearance in her honor.
Tomlinson and Deakin were extremely close and she was thrilled, a source said, by the birth of his son Freddie Reign in January.
“My mother looking gorgeous before the BRITS earlier this year,” he captioned an Instagram shot of them posted on Nov. 18. “I love you and miss you so much!”
As news broke of her death, Tomlinson’s friends and fans reached out on social media with messages of support.
“My heart breaks for you,” X Factor judge Cheryl, who is pregnant with Louis’ One Direction bandmate Liam Payne‘s first child, tweeted on Friday. “I am so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your loved ones at this incredibly tragic time.” Payne posted a note on his own account, writing, “Louis, I’m so sorry for you my brother. My heart aches for you. Just know I love you the same from a million miles away as I do right next to you. I’m always here for you through everything as you have been for me. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this incredibly sad time. I can’t begin to imagine what you are all going through. RIP Johanna you are forever in my thoughts.”
Former bandmate Zayn Malik added, “Love you bro! All of your family is in my prayers. Proud of your strength and know your mum is too,” while One Director creator Simon Cowell wrote, “Heartbroken for you Louis. Your mum Jay was an incredible person. Sending you all my love.”