Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall, 28, dies of breast cancer

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2011 5:28 PM
Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall, 28, dies of breast cancer

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall died in Houston on Saturday after losing her battle with breast cancer, according to the Venezuelan TV news network Globovision. She was 28.

The former beauty queen had worked to promote cancer awareness since being diagnosed in 2010.

The hospital in Houston where she reportedly passed away, and the funeral home there where her body was taken declined to comment on news of her death.

Ekvall won the Miss Venezuela title in 2000 and was a third runner-up for Miss Universe in 2001. She also worked as an actress and television anchor.

Although known for her beauty, Ekvall was depicted bald and without makeup in her book Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus) released this year, which chronicled her fight with breast cancer. Photographer Roberto Mata showed the beauty queen throughout her cancer treatment and as her illness regressed. She wrote the text of the book.

SenosAyuda, a Caracas-based breast cancer awareness organization, said in a tribute on its website that Ekvall's legacy will pave the way for thousands of Venezuelan women.

"Thank you for so much in so little time," the tribute said in Spanish.

Ekvall is survived by her husband, her daughter, her parents and her brother, according to SenosAyuda.

(Reporting by Erin Mulvaney. Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Greg McCune).