Elly Mayday, a curvy model and body-positive activist from Canada, has died at age 30, after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
Her family announced hear passing on her social media channels on March 1.
“Ashley was a country girl at heart who had a passion for life that was undeniable,” her family wrote. “She dreamed of making an impact on people’s lives. She achieved this through the creation of Elly Mayday which allowed her to connect with all of you. Her constant support and love from her followers held a special place in her heart.”
On her Instagram, Mayday — whose real name was Ashley Luther – regularly shared photos and details of her journey.
“Hey! This sucks! My painful needle just got a bit more painful due to it going into my skinny ass arms,” she captioned an image of her lying on a hospital bed this January 13. In the photo, she looked thinner than ever, and made it clear to fans that while she was still hoping to recover, she was not feeling well.
Mayday first got diagnosed with cancer when she was 25 years old.
She said she constantly felt sick and experienced severe lower back pain, which landed her in the emergency room four times. Every time, doctors sent her off with pain killers and told her to lose weight and exercise.
“The doctor told me to work my core,” the model told PEOPLE in 2015. “We’re undermined being younger, being women. I started to realize no one is going to help me unless I help myself.”
Mayday told her fans she was born with a dream to help others, and when she was diagnosed with cancer, she realized she could, by sharing her experience.
“My choice to be public and try and share my strength was imminent. Helping is how I justify my time here is well spent. I’m lucky I have been able to combine it with the fun career of modeling, cause that’s also very me (hah no surprise),” she wrote on Instagram before her passing. “I appreciate everyone who lets me know I’ve made a difference, with my advice, my sharing, my photos and just my general approach to a real tough situation.”
R.I.P. Elly Mayday.
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