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Eva Ekvall
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Beauty Contestant
    (March 15, 1983-December 17, 2011)
    Born in Caracas, Venezuela
    Birth name was Eva Mónica Anna Ekvall Johnson
    Miss Venezuela (2000)
    Third runner-up in the Miss Universe 2001 competition (won by Miss Puerto Rico Denise Quinones)
    Diagnosed with advanced breast cancer (February 2010)
    Died of the disease in a Houston hospital at age 28
    Chronicled her fight with the disease in a book of photographs - 'Fuera de Foco' ('Out of Focus'), released in 2011
    Working in a clothes store in Caracas she was asked to sign a modeling contract, which she thought 'was ridiculous...I was overweight. I just couldn't be a model.'
    Some Venezuelans took exception to her Buddhist faith (she was the first non-Christian to have won the title of Miss Venezuela).
    Finding a lump in her breast during pregnancy, she ignored it, later lamenting, 'I was very angry because I should have known. My aunt had breast cancer twice and my grandmother died from breast cancer. And I just let time go.'
    She went from a Miss Universe contestant in 2001 to a wife in 2007 to a mom in 2009 to a statistic in 2011.
    Her father was a Swedish-Hungarian American living in Venezuela as a political analyst and her mother was born in Jamaica.
    She had dual citizenship, earned a journalism degree in college and was fluent in both Spanish and English.
    Besides modeling, she became a TV actress and news anchor for Venevision and Televen.
    She also worked for Sexto Poder newspaper as an BlackBerry Messenger online interviewer, the first of its kind on the Venezuelan printed media.
    She has been credited with raising awareness in Venezuela, saying, 'It's absurd that there should be a taboo about breast cancer in a country of breast implants, where women have few reservations about showing off their surgically-enhanced breasts.'
    She died far too young from a heart-wrenching, insidious disease.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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