South Florida and the internet are mourning the death of Antwain “TJ” Fowler, a 6-year-old social media star from Miami who died last week after a years-long battle with a rare illness.
Fowler rose to social media fame in 2019 after hilariously asking “where we ‘bout to eat at?” in a viral video that melted hearts and morphed into memes, Twitter reactions and a popular phrase for the “hangry.” The video now has been seen nearly 25 million times on YouTube.
Memorial services are set for the young star beginning with a balloon release on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Claude Pepper Park in North Miami. A public viewing will be held on Friday before Saturday’s funeral service at Bethel Apolstic Temple.
Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.
Fowler was diagnosed in 2015 with autoimmune enteropathy, a rare disorder that attacks and damages the lining of the intestines, according to a GoFundMe page created by his mother, Christina Burns.
“Antwain has been hospitalized a countless number of times due to his poor health condition,” the page said. “Antwain has undergone over 25 surgeries.”
Burns had been sharing updates of her son’s health on social media that showed him in photos and videos smiling, laughing, and joking between stints of hospital stays and procedures.
“I tried hiding you from the world early on but couldn’t you were meant to be seen,” Burns wrote in one post that showed her posing next to her smiling son.
Fowler’s fans and other social media stars flooded the comments with condolences and words of encouragement.
“Im at a loss for words…praying extremely hard for you and your family as y’all get through this tough time🖤 little man bought laughs and smiles to many people and will definitely be missed,” influencer La’Ron Hines wrote.
“Keep ur head up,” fellow young viral star Lil TerRio commented.
“He’s always here guiding [and] watching over you,” recording artist Johnny Oz said in post.