March 07, 2019
Model and body positive activist Elly Mayday died at the age of 30. Her death came after a long struggle with ovarian cancer.
The trailblazing model was born as Ashley Luther. She was from Saskatchewan, Canada, and adopted her new name while carving a place for herself as one of the first curvy models in the industry.
Her family took to her Instagram page to announce that she had passed away on March 1. In a heartfelt post, they write a short tribute to her.
“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,"wrote her family.
Mayday's struggle began at the age of 25. She started feeling sick with constant and severe lower back pain which led to four trips to the emergency room. Her doctors brushed off her symptoms and sent her away with painkillers and advising her to lose weight.
In 2015, she in an interview with People magazine she revealed:
“The doctor told me to work my core. We’re undermined being younger, being women. I started to realize no one is going to help me unless I help myself.”
Regardless of her doctor's dismissal, she insisted on a deeper look. She had a CT scan which revealed an ovarian cyst that turned out to be a stage 3 ovarian cancer. This type of cancer typically only occurs in post-menopausal women.
She went through several surgeries and months of chemotherapy and was nearly clear. Unfortunately, in 2017, her cancer returned. As a result, most of her last eight months were spent in the hospital.
Before she passed, Mayday wrote on Instagram that she has “always been looking for that opportunity to help people.” She added that sharing her cancer battle turned out to be her way to help.
“My choice to be public and try and share my strength was imminent. Helping is how I justify my time here is well spent. I’m lucky I have been able to combine it with the fun career of modeling, cause that’s also very me (hah no surprise),” she wrote. “I appreciate everyone who lets me know I’ve made a difference, with my advice, my sharing, my photos and just my general approach to a real tough situation.”