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The US Sun

RHOC’s Gretchen Rossi announces tragic death of stepson Grayson, 22, after ‘unbearable’ cancer battle in emotional post

By James Lawley,


THE REAL Housewives of Orange County alum Gretchen Rossi has announced that her stepson Grayson has passed away.

The 22-year-old had been suffering with cancer since 2006.
Gretchen Rossi's stepson with her partner Slade Smiley has passed away Credit: gretchenrossi/Instagram
Grayson Smiley had been suffering from cancer since he was six years old Credit: gretchenrossi/Instagram

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, 44-year-old Gretchen posted several photos from over the years as part of the heartfelt tribute to her fiancé Slade Smiley's late son.

"We are beyond devastated and heartbroken over the loss of Gray," she began in the caption.

"Grayson Arroyo-Smiley was such a special human being."

"He was an angel on this earth and an incredible warrior… a warrior like no one has ever seen before.

The heartbroken mom continued: "He fought everyday through his pain and discomfort to find joy in the smallest of things. He was always singing and dancing and laughing despite his circumstances."

"He was a true beacon of light and hope."

"We are forever grateful for the many lessons learned from this little man, and will miss his beautiful spirit immensely," the former RHOC star added.

Gretchen concluded her lengthy tribute: "This isn’t goodbye but rather see you soon little man. We love you Grayson. You will forever be in our hearts."


Many of Gretchen's friends from the Bravoverse rushed to the comments with their messages of support.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Margaret Josephs wrote: "Heartbroken for your loss of sweet Gray. Sending your beautiful family all our condolences, love and peace."

"I am SO SO sorry to hear this. Sending love and light to all of you," posted The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Kyle Richards.

Vanderpump Rules' Scheana Shay wrote: "Sending y’all so much love. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss."


Although Gretchen never legally became a stepmom to her longtime partner Slade's son, she had been a big part of his life for the last 13 years.

Slade, 49, shares Grayson and his big brother Gavin, 31, with ex Michelle Arroyo.

In 2019, Gretchen and Slade welcomed their first child together - a daughter, Skylar.

They chose the middle name Gray for her in tribute to Grayson, who was first diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was six years old.

In her own Instagram post on Tuesday, Michelle confirmed that her son passed away after his heart stopped.

"I’m still in shock and going through the motions of dealing with all the details," she wrote.
The Real Housewives of Orange County alum became a stepmom to Grayson and Gavin due to her long-term relationship with Slade Credit: gretchenrossi/Instagram
Gretchen named her daughter Skylar Gray in tribute to Grayson Credit: gretchenrossi/Instagram
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