Wednesday 24 January 2018

Former beauty queen Miss Venezuela dies at 28 from breast cancer

Miss Venezuela 2001, Eva Ekvall
Miss Venezuela 2001, Eva Ekvall
Photo: Reuters

FORMER Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall has died in the US after fighting breast cancer since last year, at the young age of just 28.

"Sadly, cancer had the last word," writer Leonardo Padron told Globovision.

Ekvall, an actress and news anchor, died on Saturday after "demonstrating extraordinary calm and courage in her fight against cancer", Padron said.

It is believed her body will be sent from Houston where she was receiving treatment, to her native Venezuela.

The former beauty queen, who wrote a book after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year, used her public profile to raise awareness of the disease.

In Venezuela, "we invest a lot of money in looking beautiful and not in health care," the former model said.

"There's a huge taboo around breast cancer. But in this country people get their boobs done every day, so I don't understand how breast cancer can be a problem when everybody's showing their breasts."

Collaborating with well-known photographer Roberto Mata, Ekvall chronicled her fight against cancer in the book Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus).

The memoir shocked her native Venezuela with its stark depiction of the ravages of cancer.

"The pictures were very shocking because nobody had ever seen me that way. Nobody had seen me bald, without make-up," Ekvall said of the bestseller.

Ekvall, a journalism graduate, wrote the book based on emails to friends and family and memories prompted by the photos.

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