CARACAS, Venezuela — Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall, whose struggle with breast cancer was closely followed by Venezuelans, has died at age 28.
Her family said Ekvall died Saturday at a hospital in Houston.
Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela at age 17 in 2000, and the following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico. She went on to work as a model, actress and television news anchor.
She also wrote a book, "Fuera de Foco" ("Out of Focus"), about her struggle with cancer, which included images by photographer Roberto Mata.
Ekvall's family said in a statement Sunday that her remains were being cremated in Houston on Monday and that a service is to be held in Venezuela once her remains are returned to the country.
She was married to radio producer John Fabio Bermudez and had a 2-year-old daughter.
Her death brought an outpouring of condolences from Venezuelans, including from some prominent artists and politicians.
Ekvall's husband posted a photo on Twitter Sunday showing a close-up of his hand holding hers, resting on a hospital bed, with the words "Always together ... I love you wife."
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