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The 2016ing won't stop: Now Santa's story about dying child is in doubt

Enough, 2016. Enough. You took Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen . John Glenn. You took Alan Rickman Florence Henderson and Alan Thicke. A kid got into a gorilla's habitat and the gorilla was killed. Then people turned Harambe's death a meme fest until the zoo had to ask them to knock it off. 

Ryan Lochte happened .

2016 is almost over but the 2016ing won't quit. A heartbreaking story of a kind Santa and a dying child has been called into question, and the newspaper that published it has now disavowed it.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen's story of suiting up as Santa and comforting a terminally ill child in his finally moments went viral.

"Say, what's this I hear you're gonna miss Christmas? There's no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you're my Number One elf!" he told the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

But now, in a newly posted editor's note, the newspaper said it tried verifying details of the story but could not.

"The News Sentinel cannot establish that Schmitt-Matzen’s account is inaccurate, but more importantly, ongoing reporting cannot establish that it is accurate," the note reads. " Therefore, because the story does not meet the newspaper’s standards of verification, we are no longer standing by the veracity of Schmitt-Matzen’s account."

So, thanks 2016. Thanks for everything.

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Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for