Model and activist Mama Cax has died. Cax, whose real name was Cacsmy Brutus, was 30 years old.
The news was revealed Friday by way of her Instagram account @mamacax.
“To say that Cax was a fighter would be an understatement,” the post on Cax’s page read. “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.”
Earlier this month, Cax told her followers on Instagram she had been suffering abdominal pain and was rushed to the emergency room in London and later learned she had several blood clots. Friday’s post said she had been in the hospital for a week and died on Monday. It also said funeral arrangements will be made public once they’re finalized.
Cax, who celebrated her 30th birthday in November, was born in New York but grew up in Haiti. In recent years she lived in New York and worked as a blogger, advocate, motivational speaker and model.
At 14, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Two years later, doctors tried to, unsuccessfully, perform a hip replacement surgery, but the surgery resulted in her losing her leg.
She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree and then master’s of art degree in international studies. According to her personal blog, she studied in New York, France, Tunisia and Rome.
She was a successful model, who had walked in New York Fashion Week for names like Tommy Hilfiger and in Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie show this past fall. She was also one of Glamour magazine’s 2019 women of the year and modeled for the likes of Olay, Target and Asos.
After the news broke, fans and friends flooded Cax’s Instagram page with heartfelt comments and condolences.
One was Rihanna, who wrote on both Instagram and Twitter to say, “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 ✊🏿😢 @mamacax”
Cax had walked in Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie fashion show last September.
American Eagle Outfitters’ Aerie model and friend Iskra Lawrence also posted a tribute on Instagram.
“I am honored to have known @mamacax,” Lawrence wrote on Instagram. “To say you inspired the world is an understatement — you changed the world and your legacy is everlasting. So are the memories I will treasure forever.”
In addition, Tommy Hilfiger posted a tribute to Cax on the company’s Instagram.
“Today, all of us at Tommy Hilfiger mourn the loss of Cacsmy Brutus @mamacax,” the post read. “She was a trailblazing woman featured in several of our campaigns and a powerful body positivity advocate and motivational speaker. Instantly recognizable with her boldly graphic prosthetic leg, Cacsmy dismantled the image of what people with disabilities should be or look like. Our lives are richer for having known her.”
In an email to WWD, Olay, the beauty brand owned by Procter & Gamble, also released a statement. Cax had previously partnered with the company on a campaign around sun protection and darker skin tones.
“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of our friend Mama Cax,” according to the statement from Olay. “She was a bright light and fearless woman. We will miss her deeply and send our condolences to her family.”