In mourning. Tyra Banks paid tribute to late America’s Next Top Model contestant Jael Strauss with a heartfelt note on social media.
“Top Model has lost a beautiful soul. We will all remember Jael and her fun-loving spirit and beautiful soul,” the 45-year-old wrote via Twitter on Wednesday, December 5.
Strauss, 34, died on Tuesday, December 4, after a brief battle with stage 4 breast cancer. Us Weekly confirmed that she passed away in hospice care at about 11 a.m.
The ANTM alum’s death came just two months after she revealed the diagnosis online. “I was gonna write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know,” she wrote on Facebook at the time. “On October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable. With treatment, it may prolong my life longer than the ‘few months’ doctors said I could make it. I don’t want to die.”
She added, “I need another one of those miracles that I got back in 2013,” seemingly referring to her past battle with crystal meth addiction. She reached five years of sobriety in August and celebrated the accomplishment on Instagram.
“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,” wrote at the time. “I’d be dead if it weren’t for all the love and forgiveness I’ve been showered with by my friends and my family.”
Shortly after Strauss’ diagnosis, a friend created a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical expenses.
“At the end of September, Jael became very sick and was diagnosed with aggressive Stage IV Rapidly Progressive Metastatic Inflammatory Breast Cancer,” the description on the page read. “It has metastasized and spread beyond the breast tissue. She has just begun chemo, but we do not know how things will play out. What we do know is that Jael is putting all of her energy and drive into fighting this insidious disease and can use as much support and love as possible.”
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