Late Monday night, the family of Joanne Borgella released details about her funeral on her Facebook page. The death of Joanne Borgella was also announced on Facebook by her family on Saturday, October 18. TMZ.com states that the time of her death was 5:45 a.m. Known for being an American Idol singer, plus-sized clothes designer and model, Borgella’s fans are leaving their condolences on social media.
Listing her full name as Joanne Nathaly Borgella Ramirez, the public visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, October 24, 2014. The family stated that there would be “homegoing services” at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 25. It was also indicated in the announcement that priority seating will be given to Joanne Borgella’s family due to space limitations. Services will be held at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on Madison Avenue in NYC.
Passing away at age 32, Borgella starting fighting cancer in early October 2013 when it was discovered in Borgella’s chest. Sadly, the cancer spread from her chest to her abdomen, leading to her death — almost an exact year after she announced she was starting chemotherapy. When her family posted the statement about her death, they told the public that Borgella died from a type of cancer that attacks the lining of the uterus called endometrial cancer.
Fans started remembering her life as soon as the announcements of Borgella’s death were made. When sending their condolences to the family on social media, many fans, including Plus-Model-Mag.com, have focused on Borgella’s singing, but also her dedication to the plus-size fashion industry.
According to TMZ.com, Borgella’s commitment to plus-size fashion can be found in her very first moments of fame when she was on Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance in 2005. Her passion for plus-size fashion was further evidenced when Borgella was in the top 24 of American Idol’s seventh season in 2008. She was also a part of MTV’s MADE, a documentary featured in the NYC TriBeCa Film Festival.
The last six years of Joanne’s career were spent creating her name in the plus-size clothes fashion world as a model and designer. Along with focusing on her modeling career and accepting professional work for Nordstrom, Ashley Stewart, and Macy’s through the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, Borgella created her own plus-size clothes line.
Borgella shows many samples from her design portfolio on her Facebook page, and it highlights her famous jewelry and plus-size clothing line that was featured on NUVOtv’s Curvy Girls.
One year ago on October 15, 2013, Borgella announced in a video on her Facebook page that she had been diagnosed with cancer in early October, and that it was in her chest.
In a transcript of the video created by the Huffington Post, Borgella says,
“It’s been crazy. It’s very unexpected. I’m 31-years-old. I go to the doctor — I’ve gotten checkups, … It’s a rare case because it has spread to my chest.”
On New Year’s Day, Borgella posted a photo on Facebook with #CancerFree. On February 3, 2014, she announced on Facebook that the doctors “had never seen anything like this,” and implied she was cancer-free. On April 29, Borgella was set to have her last day of radiation treatment. Sadly, Borgella’s cancer-free status would not last. On July 21, Joanne Borgella was back in treatment and starting chemotherapy again.
Joanne Borgella’s last Facebook post was on September 23, 2014. In it, she says,
“Gooooood morning!! We are heading back to radiation for 2 procedures!! God is with us!! I have lots to fill you in on.. The presence of The Lord is here.. Prayers up!!! I love you guys #GodsGotThis #ThePowerofPrayer #Faith #IWillbeCancerFree2014 #JoanneBorgella.”
Unfortunately, the world never got to hear these final updates that Borgella wanted to fill her fans in on.
As a Wilhelmina Curve model, the agency wrote a heartfelt message of condolences to friends, family and fans of Joanne Borgella.
In it, Wilhelmina thanks her for,
“[Joanne Borgella’s] ongoing support of the plus-size community and advocacy for positive body image.”
Wilhelmina encourages the public to learn more about endometrial cancer and observed a day-long moment of silence out of respect for Borgella.
Currently, there are no indications about which type of endometrial cancer Borgella had.
According to Cancer.com, hosted by the American Cancer Association,
“Some less common forms of endometrial adenocarcinoma are clear-cell carcinoma, serous carcinoma(also called papillary serous carcinoma), and poorly differentiated carcinoma. These cancers are more aggressive than most endometrial cancers. They tend to grow quickly and often have spread outside the uterus at the time of diagnosis.”
All photos in this article were taken from Joanne Borgella’s Facebook page.