(RxWiki News) She was crowned Miss Venezuala in 2000 at the age of 17. The next year, she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant. On Saturday, Eva Ekvall died of breast cancer at the age of 28.
The beauty queen turned model, actress and television news anchor wrote a book - Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus) describing and illustrating her struggle with breast cancer. Venezuelans followed Ekvall's journey closely.
"If you feel a lump in your breast, see your doctor immediately."
She was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in February 2010. Her eight months of treatment included a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.
Ekvall had noticed a lump in her breast months earlier but thought this was due to her pregnancy.
She said at the time, "I was very angry because I should have known. My aunt had breast cancer twice and my grandmother died from breast cancer. And I just let time go."
Last year in an interview with the newspaper El Nacional, Ekvall said she wrote the book because "I needed to send the message of the need for cancer prevention."
The book included pictures of her going through chemotherapy. In the same newspaper interview, she said, "Nobody ever said cancer is pretty or that I should look like Miss Venezuela when I have cancer."
Along with the book, Ekvall became an advocate for a cancer awareness group SenosAyuda.
She was married to radio producer John Fabio Bermudez. They had a 2-year-old daughter.
In her book, she described her joy at being a mother saying, "that happiness, although (the daughter) may not know it or understand it, keeps me alive today."
'Sadly, cancer had the last word,' writer Leonardo Padron told Globovision.