- Model Elly Mayday died of ovarian cancer on Friday. She was just 30 years old.
- After being diagnosed in 2013, Mayday became an advocate for ovarian cancer awareness.
- She openly documented her treatment on social media, inspiring her fans.
Body positive model and ovarian cancer advocate Ashley Luther, better known as “Elly Mayday,” lost her battle with ovarian cancer on Friday. She was just 30 years old.
Her family announced her passing on Mayday. On Mayday's official fanpage page, which has nearly 500,000 followers, they wrote: “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."
Ashley was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2013, after suffering symptoms including lower-back and stomach pain, bloating and constant fatigue. Instead of keeping her struggle quiet, the Canadian model became an outspoken advocate.“When people tell you in lab coats - that are trained for this - that there’s nothing they can do, that they don’t know what’s going on, we need to educate everyone,” Mayday told the ReginaLeader-Post in March 2016.
She proudly posted candid shots of her treatment on Instagram throughout her ordeal, including when she lost her hair to chemotherapy. "My beauty doesn’t come from my hair, no, my beauty comes from within," she wrote. "I’m excited to have another opportunity to show women that bald is beautiful. It’s something I’ve learned and my experience is what I share with all of you."
A post shared by Elly Mayday (@elly.mayday) on Aug 6, 2018 at 10:05am PDT
Her raw honesty was an inspiration to her fans and other women with the disease. In August of 2018, she posted a picture that showed off her scars and talked about her approach to the disease. "I’m not the “thumbs up” cancer girl that’s going to always post positively. I’m not throwing shade on those who are, it’s just not me. I’m not a happy person everyday," she wrote. "I’m not a warrior, I don’t label myself with this 'fight' vocabulary associated with cancer. I’m just a girl who’s working towards getting better."
A post shared by Elly Mayday (@elly.mayday) on Aug 30, 2018 at 1:58pm PDT
Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, according to the American Cancer Society. If the cancer is diagnosed and treated early, the five-year survival rate is over 90 percent, but because the cancer's symptoms can be vague and there's no early detection test, only about 20 percent of all cases are found early, according to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.