ROCHESTER (CBS) – A young Marine from Massachusetts has died from a rare illness.

Becket Kiernan, 18, of Rochester, died Monday, just hours after being diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare, flesh-eating disease, said his mother, Lynda Kiernan.

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“Ever since Beck was tiny, he knew he wanted to be a Marine,” she told WBZ-TV.

Becket Kiernan, 18, a Marine from Rochester, has died of a rare flesh-eating disease. (Family photo)

After graduating from high school, he enlisted.

“We were all so proud,” his mother said. “His whole character has always been about what he could do. He wanted to help others.”

Becket was stationed at a Marine base in Palm Springs, Calif. when he died.

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Becket Kiernan, 18, of Rochester. (Family photo)

“By the time they found out what was going on, to the time he passed away, was about eight hours,” said his mother. “I was on a plane but I got to sit with him when I got (to California) for about two hours.”

The family plans to bring Becket home on Tuesday. They don’t yet know how Becket caught the deadly disease.

His mother gains strength when talking about her beloved son.

“He was very humble and he was kind. He was funny and very smart,” she said.

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Becket will be laid to rest at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne on Friday.