Plus size and body-positivity model Elly Mayday, who had always been very open about her ovarian cancer, passed away at the age of 30 on March 1, Friday, almost six years after she had been diagnosed with the terminal illness.
Elly, whose real name is Ashley Luther, was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in 2013 and since then has been an advocate for raising awareness and sensitivity on the disease. She did not shy away from the limelight and instead used it to openly talk about her struggles and battles with cancer. She also proudly showed off the surgery scars on her stomach on her social media accounts which included both personal as well as professional photographs.
At the time when she was diagnosed, Elly had two modeling contracts offered to her and she immediately quit her job as a flight attendant to become a model. For Elly, modeling was a way of helping others battling ovarian cancer and showing them that they are still beautiful. Elly spoke to Regina Leader-Post in 2016 and said, “I figured that maybe I could help someone going through something similar while continuing on with my own dreams.”
“I mean, I was going through it either way, why not make it as positive as possible?” she continued. Just a few months after being diagnosed, she dyed her hair teal which is the color representing ovarian cancer awareness, before she lost it to chemotherapy.