We remember the vibrant, outgoing and down right beautiful former American Idol contestant Joanne Borgella after she lost her battle with cancer.
The 32-year-old plus-size model was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2012. The family issued a statement confirming her death: “Since her diagnosis, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world,” read the post.
Before her death, Joanne constantly kept her fans updated. Sharing that the cancer had spread to her chest and she would be undergoing two rounds of radiation to fight it.
Endometrial cancer begins in the layer of cells that form the lining (endometrium) of the uterus. Endometrial cancer is sometimes called uterine cancer. Endometrial cancer is often detected at an early stage because it frequently produces abnormal vaginal bleeding, which prompts women to see their doctors. If endometrial cancer is discovered early, removing the uterus surgically often cures endometrial cancer.
“At an early age, Joanne made a choice to serve and trust the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world. Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven. Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered,” the family went on to say in their written statement.
A singer and model, Borgella made it to the top 24 on season 7 of American Idol in 2008, three years after appearing on Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance.
She signed with Wilhelmina Models after being discovered at the ESSENCE office and modeled for brands like Ashley Stewart and Macy’s. She also created Joanne Borgella New York, a clothing line for curvy women, and appeared on Curvy Girls, a reality show which airs on NUVOtv.
“I love people and I love who I am—I’m true to that. And I wear my curves with pride,” she said.