NFL star Tony Steward's fiancée Brittany Burns was courageous and kind until the very end.

Brittany was only 26 when she died Feb. 1 of a rare form of ovarian cancer. But she was wise and selfless beyond her years, her parents Cathy and Ty Burns tell People magazine.

"I will never forget, she sat up and she hugged Tony really, really tight and she looked at Cathy and said, 'I love you guys,'" remembers Ty of the day she died.

Just two months ago, the Buffalo Bills linebacker, 23, called Brittany one of the "strongest, bravest, [most] big-hearted women I know" in a touching Instagram post.

The couple had been college sweethearts, and the football player and her family were shocked by how quickly Brittany's cancer progressed. Tony was so sure she was going to beat it that he proposed to her after her diagnosis.

"I wasn't going to let fear from cancer stop me from doing what I wanted to do," he told People after her death. "Britt means the absolute world to me and we truly believed that we were just going to beat this and we were all going to move on with our lives."

Our hearts go out to Tony and Brittany's family during this incredibly difficult time.