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Jael Strauss, America’s Next Top Model Alum, Has Stage IV Breast Cancer

I don’t want to die.

These are the heartbreaking words penned by Jael Strauss on her Facebook page in a message to fans that relayed the most painful news imaginable:

She has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

“I was gonna write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know,” the 34-year old wrote last week, four days into Breast Cancer Awareness month.

She then added very simply:

“On October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable.”

Stage IV is the final and most serious stage for cancer.

It is not always a death sentence, but as Strauss writes here, there is rarely any treatment options for someone that has contracted such an illness.

Strauss later confirmed that the name of her illness was rapidly progressive metastatic inflammatory breast cancer.

She went on to explain that undergoing chemotherapy and treatment may help extend her doctors’ original prognosis.

“With treatment it may prolong my life longer than the “few months” doctors said I could make it,” she added.

“I don’t want to die. I need another one of those miracles that I got back in 2013.”

jen on fb

Strauss competed on the eighth season of America’s Next Top Model in 2007, finishing six among all contestants.

Just this past August, she celebrated five years of sobriety, writing at the time on Instagram;

“Today I have 5 years sober. Good God!

“I know a few things to be true: Miracles are real, Recovery is possible for everyone no matter how far gone you think you are, We are never too broken to be put back together.”

She talked years ago with Dr. Phil about how an intervention by her loved ones allowed her to overcome her addiction. 

(Hence the reference above to the year 2013.)

strauss

“Service work feels better than the greatest high, Sobriety makes you weirder not normal,” she continued last month.

“And I’d be dead if it weren’t for all the love and forgiveness I’ve been showered with by my friends and family. Thank you to anyone that’s ever let me sponsor them.”

To help offset some of the medical costs, Strauss’ friends have set up a GoFundMe page on her behalf, confirming that the former model has already started chemotherapy.

“What we do know is that Jael is putting all of her energy and drive into fighting this insidious disease and can use as much support and love as possible,” reads the fundraising page, noting that:

“Jael is in tremendous pain right now and is unable to work. In a month, she will be let go from her job and lose her health insurance.”

Strauss snapshot

It adds:

Jael, being the selfless person that she is, has helped countless people throughout her life as an advocate for recovery and social justice.

She has offered everything she has to people in need; no matter what their situation, she is always ready to help with an empathetic heart and nonjudgmental spirit.

She has created “gofundmes” for literally dozens of her friends, and it is now time for us to pay her back.

We have the chance, and honestly the obligation, to step up and return the favor.

You can donate to her cause HERE.

The campaign has since raised over $ 7,800 in three days.

“Currently fighting stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer,” reads Jael’s Instagram bio. “Plz send miracles.”

We are doing just that.

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Fatima Ali, Beloved Top Chef Star, Reveals Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

Fatima Ali is in need of your prayers.

The former Top Chef contestant, whose personality made her into a fan favorite on Season 15, has penned a powerful and emotional essay.

In it, Ali reveals that she has cancer — and will almost certainly be dead in a year.

“The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone,” wrote the 29-year old on Tuesday wrote in a post published by Bon Appétit’s Healthyish.

In heartbreaking detail, she proceeded to give fans her diagnosis:

“My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen.

“I was looking forward to being 30, flirty and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose.”

We have no idea how Ali, or anyone in her situation, can joke at a time like this.

It’s the epitome of bravery.

“It’s funny, isn’t it?” continued the beloved reality star.

“When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living.

“When that choice is yanked away from us, that’s when we scramble to feel.

“I am desperate to overload my senses in the coming months, making reservations at the world’s best restaurants, reaching out to past lovers and friends, and smothering my family, giving them the time that I so selfishly guarded before.”

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That’s what the song and the saying says, right?

To live like you are dying?

It really is tragic that only those actually dying typically have this kind of perspective.

Ali finished in seventh place on Top Chef.

In late 2017, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, which is a type of bone and soft tissue cancer.

The aspiring chef underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy prior to having the tumor in her left shoulder surgically removed.

in hospital

This is a photo of Ali and Padma Lakshmi in the hospital from January of 2018.

She announced in February that she was cancer-free, yet started suffering complications after completing her final found of chemotherapy in August.

“I’ve spent more time in sterile hospital rooms in the past year than I have in my own apartment,” Ali wrote in her essay.

“This has become my new home, and the staff a part of my family…

“Everyone’s amazed that I’m taking it so well. But when you hit rock bottom, there really is no place to go but up.”

hospitalized

Ali doesn’t know how much time she has left for sure, but she plans to spend the final months of her life doing what she loves best: visiting new restaurants in New York City.

“I was always deathly afraid of being average in any way,” she concluded. “And now I desperately wish to have a simple, uneventful life.”

God bless her.

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Rob Delaney Pens Powerful Essay on Late Son’s Cancer Battle

Early this year, Rob Delaney’s young son tragically died. His 2-year-old son fought and lost a battle against a fatal brain tumor.

Now, eight months later, the still-grieving comedian has released the first excerpts of his book, which he had been writing when it looked like his son was going to make it.

This is heavy, powerful stuff, and very much worth reading.

On Medium, Rob Delaney shares pieces of the book that he has written about his late son.

“I may wish Henry wasn’t in the hospital and it may make me f–king sick that my kids haven’t lived under the same roof for over a year,” Delaney writes in one excerpt.

“But I’m always, always happy to enter the hospital every morning and see him,” Delaney says. “It’s exciting every day to walk into his room and see him and see him see me.”

“The surgery to remove his tumor left him with Bell’s palsy on the left side of his face, so it’s slack and droops,” he describes. “His left eye is turned inward too, due to nerve damage.”

“But the right side of his face is incredibly expressive, and that side brightens right up when I walk into the room,” he writes.

“There’s no doubt about what kind of mood he’s in, ever,” Denaley continues.

“It’s particularly precious when he’s angry because seeing the contrast between a toddler’s naked rage in one half of his face and an utterly placid chubby chipmunk cheek and wandering eye in the other,” Delaney explains.

He goes on to say that it “is shocking in a way that makes me and my wife and whatever combination of nurses and/or doctors are in the room laugh every time.”

“And when he smiles, forget about it,” Delaney beams. “A regular baby’s smile is wonderful enough.”

In contrast, he writes: “When a sick baby with partial facial paralysis smiles, it’s golden. Especially if it’s my baby.”

Delaney also speaks of the earliest signs of his son’s illness, which began normally enough — with Henry vomiting in 2016. Babies do that sometimes.

What made it worse was that he continued to do so.

“Henry was losing weight,” Delaney writes. “Every time he vomited I would freak out. I would feed him so gently, so slowly, and assume I’d done something wrong when he vomited.”

Delaney blamed himself over the medical mystery. “Why, if I’d been able to feed Henry’s ravenous, feral older brothers, couldn’t I feed him?”

“My baby was getting smaller,” Delaney writes. “And that is a f–ked up thing to see.”

“I would often start crying whenever he threw up,” Delaney admits. “I would try not to cry in front of his older brothers and fail.”

“And they’d ask why,” Delaney continues. “And I would say it was because I was scared.”

It was only after a friend suggesting seeing his child’s pediatrician that Henry, still a baby, was given an MRI.

The doctor already suspected that a mass might be forcing Henry to vomit uncontrollably, but did not say the word “tumor” until Rob Delaney said it first.

Henry ended up having drastic brain surgery — the one that resulted in his aforementioned lazy eye and partial facial paralysis. But it was not enough.

Delaney shares that he wrote about these experiences before his family got the worst news of their lives.

“The above was part of a book proposal I put together before Henry’s tumor came back and we learned that he would die,” Delaney explains.

Understandably, “I stopped writing when we saw the new, bad MRI.”

“My wife and his brothers and I just wanted to be with him around the clock and make sure his final months were happy,” Delaney writes. “And they were.”

He adds that he’s putting his writings out there for his intended audience — other parents of very sick children.

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Larry Fitzgerald Buys Meals For Massive Crowd, Donates Money to Cancer Patient

As if you needed another reason to love Larry Fitzgerald … the NFL superstar hit up a local restaurant and spotted the bill for a HUGE crowd — and the reason behind the good deed is awesome!! The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver hit up Casella’s…

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Ami Brown Undergoes Cancer Screening: Is She Finally Cured?

On Sunday’s new episode of Alaskan Bush People, Gabe Brown risked life and limb while building up the new homestead.

But many of the Brown family’s thoughts were on the well being of their mother, Ami Brown, who had to travel to the hospital.

Ami beat the odds once before. … Has her cancer returned?

On Sunday night’s Alaskan Bush People, Ami had to leave the new homestead for another exam to make sure that her cancer was not trying to make a comeback.

“As far as returning to the doctor,” Amy said to the camera. “I wish it was already over.”

We all wish that Ami Brown’s cancer battle had ended with her being totally cancer-free.

“We’re all questioning what the results will be,” Ami admits. “But whatever it is, it is.”

Though Ami beat the odds just by surviving, she will likely need to be screened every few months for the rest of her life.

Ami explained that the cancer remains, but not the threat that it was a year ago.

“Well, the cancer ain’t all the way gone,” Ami admits. “But in the essence, yes it has abated.”

Ami continues: “And we’re fighting it, and we’re winning.”

“And this mountain and this new home gives us new energy every day,” she says, full of hope.

“And,” Ami concludes. “Every day we accomplish and every day we’re safe.”

That is a wonderful sentiment and a good mantra to repeat to herself.

As Ami headed off to the Los Angeles hospital, her eldest daughter, Bird, lamented that she was left behind.

“I wish that I could have gone with them,” Bird admits.

“There wasn’t a doctor’s visit that I wasn’t there,” Bird explains. “So it’s hard to not go.”

“Especially,” Bird continues. “What if something happens?”

“And it will definitely be harder to work,” Bird adds. “Because I don’t know what the test results are going to be.”

“If she comes back clear this time…” Billy says hopefully. “It’s finally gone.”

To him, that would make their lives just about perfect.

“We got plenty of space, we’re all together …” Billy says. “And we believe in Jesus.”

Speaking of Jesus, Bam Bam gave his mother a gift for her journey — a beautiful ceramic cross.

“It’s our tradition giving something back and forth,” he explains.

Like his sister, Bird, Bam Bam explains that he feels a knot of anxiety when his mother goes in for a check-up.

“There’s a pit in the bottom of your stomach to wait and wonder what’s going on and what the test results are,” he explains.

Bam Bam is anxious, “but we have to stay here and do our best to build things up while they’re gone.”

“And,” Bam Bam concludes. “Just focus on the work we need to do.”

The next episode is expected ot reveal to fans and viewers the results of Ami’s screening.

In real time, however, we know that it’s only been a few weeks since Ami Brown celebrated a birthday that her family had feared she’d never live to see.

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Mackenzie McKee BLASTS MTV: They Don’t Like That My Mom Has Cancer!

As you’ve likely heard by now, two new faces will be joining the cast of Teen Mom OG this season.

Cheyenne Floyd and Bristol Palin will both be appearing as regulars when the show’s eighth season premieres on October 1 — and the reaction from fans has been mixed, at best.

While producers always planned to replace Farrah Abraham, who was fired due to misconduct issues last year, it was widely assumed that they would cast someone with previous experience as a member of the Teen Mom/16 and Pregnant franchise.

Instead, producers pulled talent from the political arena (Palin) and from elsewhere on the MTV lineup (The Challenge star Floyd, who — it should be noted — never had a child until she was in her twenties).

The casting news came as a shock to many fans, particularly as it was widely assumed that former Teen Mom 3 star Mackenzie McKee was a shoe-in for the position.

McKee had already been passed over once, when producers decided to cast Briana DeJesus on Teen Mom 2.

Many felt that McKee deserved the job, and when an MTV camera crew was sent to McKee’s home earlier this year, it was expected that an official announcement that she had joined the cast was imminent.

However, we now know that the network was simply filming scenes for a “where are they now?” special that’s set to air next week.

On Instagram, McKee hinted that she was less than thrilled by the decision, writing:

“I’ve been done real dirty this year, let’s just say that…”

In the past, fans have accused Mackenzie of throwing shade at Cheyenne due to comments she’s made on social media.

But today, McKee is making it clear that her beef is not with Cheyenne or Bristol, but with MTV.

“It’s obvious what is going on right now and that’s okay,” McKee recently told Radar Online.

“I have nothing bad to say about anyone. I am extremely happy for all the girls,” she added.

“These girls all have a great opportunity and I hope they use it in a positive way.”

But while she obviously wishes nothing but the best for the ladies of Teen Mom OG, McKee clearly (and rightly) believes that she was unjustly passed over for a spot on the show.

“Many out there have loved ones who are dealing with cancer and through my mom, I wanted to encourage those people to go out and live your best life, even if you’re told you have 4-12 months,” McKee recently wrote on Instagram.

“Some way, somehow, I will make sure that she doesn’t leave this earth without inspiring the world.

“Unfortunately, it’s just not a story MTV was interested in.”

McKee adds that she would have liked to share her story as a “suicide attempt survivor” and hopes that she’ll be able to find another platform on which to do so.

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