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Model and activist Mama Cax dies at age 30

Model and activist Mama Cax, who wore a prosthetic leg since she was 14, pushed the fashion world to include more disabled models and more women of color.
/ Source: TODAY

Mama Cax, an influential model, blogger and disability activist, has died.

Cax passed away Monday after spending several days in a hospital, her family revealed Friday in a statement on her Instagram page. She was 30.

“It is with deep regret and immense sadness that we announce the passing of Cacsmy Brutus (Mama Cax). Mama Cax spent the past week in the hospital, and unfortunately, on Monday, December 16, 2019, she left this world," the family said.

Model and activist Mama Cax pushed the fashion world to hire more disabled models and more women of color.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

"To say that Cax was a fighter would be an understatement. As a cancer survivor, she had grown accustomed to taking on life’s several challenges head on and successfully. It is with the same grit (fervor) that she fought her last days on earth,” the statement added.

Cax's death occurred less than a week after she revealed she'd been rushed to an ER in London after suffering "severe" abdominal pain. Cax later learned she had "several blood clots in my leg, thigh, abdomen" and also near her lungs.

Cax lost her leg when she was 14 as she battled an aggressive form of bone cancer. She became a runway hit and a social media superstar thanks to her penchant for showcasing her prosthetic leg by decorating it in colorful designs.

"I realized that once I decided to show my prosthetic and started making it part of who I am, and making sure that however I dress it up, that it reflects my personality, then my interactions with other people also changed,” Cax told MSNBC's Yasmin Vossoughian in July.

She landed major campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora and other fashion labels, and won respect around the world for pushing the fashion industry to include more disabled models and more women of color.

Singer and fashion designer Rihanna, who enlisted Cax to walk the runway for her Savage x Fenty line, responded with sadness to news of the model's death.

"A queen. A force. A powerhouse beauty that brought her strength to the @savagexfenty stage this year inspiring so many across the globe. Rest In Power sis," Rihanna tweeted.

Model Tess Holliday, also an advocate of body positivity, shared her grief in the comments of the post announcing Cax's death. "My beautiful friend, my beautiful, wonderful friend. My heart is broken," she wrote.

Holliday also posted a photo of the two models leaning on one another and smiling happily.

"I'll love you forever," she wrote in the caption.

Jameela Jamil, a star of NBC's "The Good Place," expressed heartbreak, too.

"Rest in power you complete legend," she commented. "It was an honour getting to know you, and witnessing your power and elegance."