The recent death of plus size model Elly Mayday still has many shocked and speechless.
She was not only a successful plus size model but a body positive activist who believed that size did not determine someone’s beauty. She saw the magic in ALL bodies and used her platform to empower women to embrace who they were and see their beauty.
She was diagnosed at the age of 25 with stage 3 serous carcinoma, a rare form of ovarian cancer that is usually seen in post-menopausal women. Elly remained hopeful and positive. She would go on to beat it and go into remission.
After having a hysterectomy and enduring months of grueling chemotherapy, she didn’t hide her condition but instead used her platform to bring forth more awareness about ovarian cancer, encouraging women to not ignore symptoms and in turn, changed the way women viewed themselves.
She continued to model, with a bald head and her scars visible.
She told ABC News back in 2014:
“In the lingerie industry, it’s not something you do. It’s all about long hair and big breasts and arched backs. But it’s important to show what real women look like underneath their clothes. Most people have some issue they are dealing with.”
She was a regular face on Forever Yours Lingerie’s website and the “Curvy Canadian” as she called herself, went on to be front and center in Lane Bryant’s I’m No Angel campaign in 2015 and was one of the stars of the documentary film “A Perfect 14“, which followed the journeys of three plus-size models and how they navigated the fashion industry.
This down-to-earth beautiful human being is someone we all thought would live to be a force in this world for a long time, sharing her story and inspiring everyone. But that did not happen. The cancer came back last summer and she again shared her story via Instagram of her treatment, so candidly and authentically.
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I’ve accepted doing a bit more chemo, wanting to see more options and the possibility of this small bowel working. I was determined to wear some clothes today. So when they sent in the stretcher to transport me to chemo, I requested a wheel chair. I didn’t look the part in my jeans and white button up. I like to have any dignity that comes my way. After being admitted for 20 days now, I just wanted a little normalcy. Chemo went well. I’m back in my room resting. ☺️ mom is here. #chemotherapy #ovariancancer #chemo #hospital #chemoday #ellymayday
“My idea of myself and what women are supposed to feel towards their bodies has changed and evolved into even something stronger. It’s helped me. My confidence has made me where I am today. It’s gotten me through the terrible road of cancer.” (CBC.ca, April 2015)
Elly Mayday, real name Ashley Luther, passed away at the age of 30 on Friday, March 1, 2018 at 5:14pm.
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Elly Mayday’s given name was Ashley Shandrel Luther. She was born on April 15, 1988 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Ashley was deeply loved by her family in Canada and in Germany. . . 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. . . Ashely passed away on Friday, March 1st at 5:14pm. You all inspired Ashley and we hope she did the same for you. Feel free to share your positive thoughts and memories below. . . love and light, . Ashely’s loving family
“I don’t call myself a cancer survivor, I call myself a cancer thriver.”
We’ll miss you, Elly. So very much. And we will never forget your legacy.
To learn more about ovarian cancer, including symptoms and early detection, click here.
Ashley Shandrel Luther
April 15, 1988 – March 1, 2019