Plus size model Elly Mayday, 30, dies after sharing her struggle with ovarian cancer

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


                            Plus size model Elly Mayday, 30, dies after sharing her struggle with ovarian cancer

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.

Over the last couple of years, she has been very candid about her battle with the disease. In 2017, she suffered a relapse and continued to share her experience. 


 
 
 
 
 
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Teal hair was so fun! Cotton Candy Dream 🌟

A post shared by Elly Mayday (@elly.mayday) on


In 2018, she took to social media to talk about losing hair during chemotherapy and "to show women that bald is beautiful". Elly wrote, "Our beauty comes out if we accept the changes we must face and allow ourselves to just embrace our differences. My beauty doesn’t come from my hair, no, my beauty comes from within." The successful model was able to touch and relate to many people and boasts of around 94,000 Instagram followers.


 
 
 
 
 
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...And just like that Im back in the hospital. I was admitted immediately after my flight yesterday and it is all hands on deck. Sorting out the pain is top priority. How can anyone think straight when in pain? They can’t. I’m already so relieved to be here. I’ve missed all my wonderful nurses and even though it’s not the greatest of situations, it’s so nice having familiar faces taking care. Just had a cat scan and am waiting to head back to my room. News to come. I wish I could buy all the patients the softest, cuddliest blanket ever. It’s the one thing I need to be happy in here. ☺️ what’s the one thing that always makes you happy?!

A post shared by Elly Mayday (@elly.mayday) on


Elly died on March 1 and her family announced her death on her social media pages. They wrote, "Ashley was a country girl at heart who had a passion for life that was undeniable. She dreamed of making an impact on people’s lives. She achieved this through the creation of Elly Mayday which allowed her to connect with all of you. Her constant support and love from her followers held a special place in her heart."

Many of her heartbroken fans also shared their thoughts. One fan wrote, "This has hit me hard. Ashley who is 20 years younger than me, got ovarian cancer just 3 months before I did."

The fan added, "She had the strength to go public with her story and journey and she became a role model, model, and spokesperson for ovarian cancer awareness. I followed her right from the beginning of my own ovarian cancer journey and her positivity and authenticity gave me great strength to face my own challenges."

Another fan added, "Elly impacted my life more than she will ever know, your beautiful girl saved my life. After watching her on a morning program here in Australia I sought that second.. third .. fourth opinion instead of giving up, I’m now 3yrs in remission and owe that to you, Elly."