Joanne Borgella of American Idol Dead at 32 of Rare Cancer
Joanne Borgella, the former “American Idol” contestant and plus-sized model who won the first season the “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance” reality series, died of cancer on Saturday.
She was 32 years old. Her family announced the news on Facebook: “With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne.”
In 2005, Borgella won the “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance” pageant as “Miss F.A.T.” In 2008, she was a finalist on Season 7 of “American Idol,” advancing as one of the top 12 women.
She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2013, updating fans in a series of Facebook videos as she went through radiation and chemotherapy in the months that followed. Her last update came on September 23, as she prepared for more treatment.
In its Facebook statement on Saturday, the family noted, “At an early age, Joanne made a choice to serve and trust the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world.”
“Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered,” continued Borgella’s family. “Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven.”