Former Miss Venezuela Dies of Breast Cancer But Leaves Behind Important Gift

eva ekvall out of focus bookUgh, prepare yourself for some of the saddest news out there today. Eva Ekvall, a former Miss Venezuela, has passed away from breast cancer at the age of 28. Venezuelans had followed Ekvall's battle with the disease since she was diagnosed in February 2010, as the beauty queen-turned-news anchor wanted very much to spread the message about cancer prevention.

Many celebs are super-private about their fights with cancer, or at least, we don't see the behind-the-scenes of their ordeal, and that's understandable. But Ekvall was intentionally public with her battle, writing a book called Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus), which featured photos taken of her undergoing chemotherapy and with her head shaved. She told the newspaper El Nacional in an interview last year that she "hate[s] to see photos in which [she] comes out ugly, but ... nobody ever said cancer is pretty."

Wow, good for her.


Ekvall wanted people to know that she wasn't going to look like Miss Venezuela while battling breast cancer. That no one looks like a beauty queen while fighting the disease, and furthermore, no one should expect you to!

It's amazing how much the media has taken to breast cancer awareness in the last few years, but I do think sometimes we get a skewed perspective of what individual women's struggles look like. Hollywood has a way of making it seem so glossy, airbrushed, rarely even rough around the edges. And it just isn't that way, so for Ekvall to give Venezuela and the rest of the world a glimpse of what her battle really looked like isn't just a reality check for all of us -- it's a gift. She did the world a service by stripping off any pretense of glamour or melodrama around a young woman battling cancer.

And you know, cancer may not be pretty, but Ekvall proved women who fight it with grace and candor are beautiful.

How do you feel about Ekvall's message that nobody ever said cancer is pretty?


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