Stars including actress Jameela Jamil and model Iskra Lawrence have taken to social media to pay homage to the cancer survivor and amputee model Mama Cax who passed away on Monday at the age of 30.
The Haitian-American activist, whose real name is Cacsmy Brutus, was in London for a photo shoot when she was plagued with severe abdominal pain that led to the discovery that she had several blood clots in her leg, thigh, abdomen, and near her lungs.
Mama Cax’s family broke the heartbreaking news of her passing with a statement posted to the model’s Instagram on Friday, though the exact cause of her death remains unknown.
Following her death, stars including models Iskra Lawrence and Tess Holliday and actress Jameela Jamil rushed to social media to pay their respects.
Tragic loss: Model and cancer survivor Mama Cax, whose real name is Cacsmy Brutus, passed away on Monday
Model Iskra Lawrence (pictured with Mama Cax in New Jersey) took to her Instagram page to pay her respects to the icon
Paying tribute: Rihanna tweeted a photo of Mama Cax at her Savage x Fenty fashion show in September to honor the model, calling her a ‘queen’ and ‘force’
‘It is with deep regret and immense sadness that we announce the passing of Cacsymy Brutus (Mama Cax),’ they wrote. ‘Mama Cax spent the past week in the hospital, and unfortunately, on Monday, December 16, 2019, she left this world.
‘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 challenged head on and successfully. It is with that same grit (fervor) that she fought her last days on earth,’ the continued.
‘We are aware that this loss will be felt globally and will not be easy for anyone. We as that you please respect Cax’s privacy in this difficult time. We will make information about funeral arrangements public once they are finalized.’
Fellow models, celebrities, and friends have been flooding social media with tributes to Mama Cax, including Rihanna.
The 31-year-old singer tweeted a photo of the model at her Savage x Fenty fashion show in September, writing: ‘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 @mama_cax.’
Actress Jameela Jamil was among those who sent their condolences to Mama Cax’s family in the comments section of their post announcing her death.
Heartbreaking: The Haitian-American activist’s family broke the news on Instagram on Friday
Inspiration: Mama Cax was an advocate for models with physical disabilities and was named one of Glamour magazine’s ‘Women of the Year’ in August
Final post: Though the exact cause of her death is unknown, she revealed on Instagram last week that she had been rushed to the hospital with multiple blood clots
‘Rest in power you complete legend. It was an honour getting to know you, and witnessing your power and elegance. Love to your family,’ she wrote.
Model Nina Agdal added: ‘Devastating.. To Cax’s family and loved ones my deepest condolences. Much love and prayers.’
‘My beautiful friend, my beautiful, wonderful friend. My heart is broken,’ commented plus-size star Tess Holliday.
And Iskra Lawrence wrote: ‘There’s no words to express how grateful I am for your existence and that the world has been graced with your positivity, wisdom and love.
‘It’s been an honour my love to get to know you and I will always cherish the memories and until we meet again one day – thank you, thank you for being you love you.’
In the devastating final Instagram post Mama Cax shared before her death, she revealed she was taking blood thinners to treat multiple blood clots.
Falling ill: Mama Cax said at the time that she was taking blood thinners to treat the clots, which put her at risk for a pulmonary embolism
Inspiration: Mama Cax has walked the runway with her prosthetic leg during New York Fashion Week. She is pictured on the catwalk at the Chromat show in September 2018
Sending love: Actress Jameela Jamil (pictured with Mama Cax and Noor) was among the many celebrities who shared their condolences on social media
In a post on social media Jameela wrote: ‘This woman was the most inspiring and elegant human one could be lucky enough to meet’
In a message on social media model Iskra said that Mama Cax changed the world and added that her legacy was everlasting
‘Y’all 2019 has been one of the best years for me, cannot deny it! But 2019 also tried to take me out,’ she wrote. ‘I was gearing up for a wonderful couple of weeks went from celebration an anniversary with bae in Serbia, flew to NY for a quick job then had a quick shoot in London before heading to L.A to celebrate a fruitful yearlong partnership with my #sephorasquad family.’
Mama Cax said that while she was in London, she ‘started experiencing severe abdominal pain,’ but when she was rushed to the emergency room, they dismissed it as ‘inflammation’ and sent her home with pain medication.
‘The next morning it got worse, while barely conscious, I asked the hotel to call me an ambulance,’ she explained. ‘They discovered that I had several blood clots in my leg, thigh, abdomen and near an IVC filter near my lungs (which is a medical device that prevents clots from entering the lungs.)
‘Up until this emergency visit I had no idea I had such filter (which I assumed was placed there during my chemo days 14yrs ago) – nonetheless this filter saved my life,’ she continued.
‘Lots of unanswered questions which I’ll have to figure out once I’m back to the States but I’m finally out of the hospital, in less pain, resting and taking blood thinners.’
Rosario Dawson said that she was ‘heartbroken’ after finding out the iconic model had passed away
American model Tess Holliday said that there was ‘a light’ about Mama Cax and that she was glad she was lucky enough to have met the model
Tess added that the last time she spoke with Mama Cax was on FaceTime and she told the model about the recent chanes in her life
American model Tess, whose real name is Ryann Maegen Hoven, shared a message about Mama Cax’s road to success
She said she had to stay in London because flying put her at risk of pulmonary embolism, a blockage in one of the arteries in the lungs
The blockage can cause damage to the lungs and low oxygen levels in the blood.
‘Unfortunately flying puts me at risk of a pulmonary embolism therefore I’m stuck across the pond until after Christmas,’ she wrote at the end of her post.
‘Hope y’all are gearing up for a wonderful holiday season. (Thanks @sephora for the flowers and to everyone who took time to message and call me- love you all.)’
Sephora was among the brands who honored Mama Cax on Instagram on Friday, writing: ‘We’re heartbroken to hear this tragic news. She was a shining light in our community and a beautiful soul. The entire Sephora family is sending love and support during this incredibly difficult time.’
Mama Cax’s death comes 16 years after she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that attacked both her bones and lungs.
The then 14-year-old was told she would have just three weeks to live, but thanks to an experimental drug and a lot of determination, she beat the terrible disease — though didn’t come out of the battle unscathed.
In another picture Tess could be seen enjoying a sun-soaked break in Disneyland with the famous model
Devastating: Mama Cax’s death comes 16 years after she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that attacked both her bones and lungs
Scary: Mama Cax, was just 14 years old at the time of her cancer diagnosis, was told she had just three weeks to live
Miracle: Thanks to an experimental drug and a lot of determination, she beat the terrible disease, though she ended up having to get her right leg amputated
Legend: Mama Cax has to walk with a prosthetic leg and crutches, but she did not let her disability stop her from doing anything that any other women her age were doing
She had a hip replacement at the age of 16 in an attempt to get rid of the affected bone, but the surgery was unsuccessful.
Mama Cax had to get a portion of her right hip as well as her right leg removed, which required her to walk with a prosthetic leg and crutches.
However, she did not let her disability stop her from doing anything that any other women her age were doing.
When she was 17, Mama took a trip to Costa Rica and swiftly caught the travel bug.
Her blogging career began in earnest with a Tumblr photoblog documenting her travels and her life as an amputee, but she found the market to be so supersaturated with bloggers with the same stories.
She was hesitant to share her own stories until she had a revelation during a backpacking trip to South East Asia in 2013.
Star: Over the course of her career, she amassed more than 186,000 followers on Instagram and has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Olay and Tommy Hilfiger
‘I use crutches and when I travel I like to bring a couple of extra crutch tips (rubber tips at the base of the crutches),’ she explained on her website.
‘Thailand is one of the top producers of rubber meaning packing six pairs of crutch tips all the way across the world was so unnecessary and this made me realize that the world doesn’t need more bloggers. It needs more bloggers with unique experiences.’
From there, Mama decided to add her voice to the blogosphere, not just as a traveler, but ‘as a person of color and as a person with a physical disability.’
The social media influencer, who has amassed more than 186,000 followers on Instagram, has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and walked the runway with her prosthetic leg during New York Fashion Week.
In August, she was named one of Glamour magazine’s ‘Women of the Year’ thanks to advocacy for disabled models like herself.
‘I understand I might not be what a brand is looking for, but to me I often want to know, why?’ she told the publication. ‘Even when I look at all-black spaces, they lack that diversity as well.
‘They do try to include different kinds of people within the black community, but disability is often a missing piece,’ she explained. I’m embraced there because of my blackness — I want to also be embraced there because of my disability.’