Vanessa Bryant has released her first statement regarding the tragic passing of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna. Taking to Instagram earlier today, she posted a beautiful family portrait captioned with a tribute that thanked Kobe's fans for their support.

"My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time," she wrote. "Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them."

Attempting to put the pain into words, she continued, "There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever."

She also revealed that Kobe's Mamba Sports Foundation has set up a fund to support the other families affected by the helicopter accident, which claimed nine lives last Sunday, January 26. Those who wish to donate can do so at MambaOnThree.org.

Read Vanessa Bryant's touching statement in full below.

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