Former American Idol contestant and plus size model Joanne Borgella has died at the age of 32, according to TMZ.
The website reports that the singer and model had been battling a rare form of cancer, updating followers of her social media accounts as late as September on her progress.
Joanne Borgella’s death was first announced on her Facebook page.
“With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne.
On Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 5:45AM, Joanne Borgella Ramirez was called by the Lord to heaven.
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. Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered. 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.”
In announcing Joanne Borgella’s death, the family’s post to her Facebook wall noted that the form of cancer she had been suffering from was “Endometrial.” The family asked that all followers of her account educate themselves about the cancer, which TMZ said was rare.
The Mayo Clinic describes it as a cancer of the uterine area.
“Endometrial cancer begins in the layer of cells that form the lining (endometrium) of the uterus. Endometrial cancer is sometimes called uterine cancer. Other types of cancer can form in the uterus, including uterine sarcoma, but they are much less common than endometrial 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.”
Unfortunately for Borgella, she was unable to survive the cancer and passed at the age of 32.
Joanne Borgella’s death is not the first to strike the American Idol family, of course, with past contestants having met untimely deaths, including the most recent example of 35-year-old Michael Johns, who died of a blood clot in his ankle in August of this year.
What are your memories of Joanne Borgella from her appearances on American Idol and Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance, among other television appearances? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.