Former America’s Top Model contestant Jael Strauss has died at the age of 34 after a battle with breast cancer, according to her official GoFundMe page.
“Today we lost our earth angel and she is back in the spirit world from which she came and we know she will be watching over all of us,” the update read.
The post continued: “She will dance at how we celebrate her life by spreading the love that she lived by daily with a reckless abandon.”
According to her GoFundMe page, the family has asked for donations to help pay for funeral arrangements and outstanding medical expenses instead of donating flowers in her memory.
“The one blessing was that we were able to show her how loved she was before she passed. She brought so much light to people,” her family said in a statement.
Strauss went public with her battle with Stage 4 breast cancer on Oct. 5, three days after receiving her diagnosis.
“It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “With treatment, it may prolong my life longer than the ‘few months’ doctors said I could make it. I don’t want to die.”
The model entered hospice on Nov. 22.
“First night in hospice,” she wrote on Facebook. “So many things I never knew about life. Or death. So many things.”
According to her GoFundMe page, Strauss stopped chemotherapy a month ago.
She competed on Season 8 of America’s Next Top Model in 2007 and placed sixth in the competition.
Following her time on America’s Top Model, Strauss appeared on Dr. Phil in 2012 to deal with her addiction to meth.
In 2017, Strauss spoke about how happy she was being drug-free and helping others.
“I’ve been sober for three years and three months now,” she said at the time of the interview with Too Fab. “Not a drink, not a pill, not a joint, not a line, nothing. It’s really amazing. It’s a huge miracle to still be breathing after what I was up to and I’m so grateful. Whatever path and twists and turns I had to take to get here, I don’t regret any of them.”
Strauss took to Instagram to celebrate the anniversary of her sobriety on Aug. 17.
“Today I have [been] five years sober. Good God! I know a few things to be true: Miracles are real, [and] recovery is possible for everyone no matter how far gone you think you are,” Strauss wrote on Instagram at the time. “We are never too broken to be put back together. Service work feels better than the greatest high. Sobriety makes you weirder not normal… and I’d be dead if it weren’t for all the love and forgiveness I’ve been showered with by my friends and family. Thank you to anyone that’s ever let me sponsor them.”
Today I have 5 years sober. Good God! I know a few things to be true: Miracles are real, Recovery is possible for everyone no matter how far gone you think you are, We are never too broken to be put back together, Service work feels better than the greatest high, Sobriety makes you weirder not normal? and I’d be dead if it weren’t for all the love and forgiveness I’ve been showered with by my friends and family. Thank you to anyone that’s ever let me sponsor them. Thank you to my partner Cody Bear for showing me what real love is like. Thank you to all my beautiful family (blood and extended). Because of this gift I have no friends, only family. Love you all! Keep up the good fight? #Recovery #sobriety #12steps #drphil #antm
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According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer will affect at least one in nine Canadian women.
The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that an average of 70 Canadian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day; an average of 13 women die every day.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and is the second-leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian women.
— With files from Dani-Elle Dube
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