We have very sad news to share today about former American Idol contestant and model Joanne Borgella. The 32-year-old singer died this past weekend after a long struggle with cancer. She fought the disease with faith and determination throughout her illness, but finally lost the battle early on Saturday morning.
With her powerful, sweet voice, Joanne was an early fan favorite on American Idol season 7 in 2008. She finished in the Top 24, but unfortunately did not make the list of finalists. Before her time on American Idol, she also starred on another reality TV show, winning Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance in 2005.
After her time on Idol, Joanne continued to perform as a singer and signed with Wilhelmina Models plus size division. She was featured in numerous modeling campaigns and magazines.
Joanne Borgella announced back in 2013 that she had been diagnosed with a “rare case” of cancer. She documented her journey to find a cure with posts and videos on Facebook. Despite many setbacks and grueling treatments that left her sick and made her hair fall out, Joanne remained positive and hopeful. Just a few weeks ago, Joanne posted that she was going back in for more radiation to treat the cancer and asked for prayers.
Sadly, Joanne did not get her wish to be cancer free in 2014. Her family posted a message to her Facebook wall on Saturday saying the young singer had passed away.
“With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne,” the message read wrote. “On Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 5:45AM, Joanne Borgella Ramirez was called by the Lord to heaven. 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.”
According to a statement from Joanne’s family on Facebook, the beautiful singer was a bright light right until the end. “Her faith, courage, and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered. 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.”
Joanne’s family asked that fans who wished to send condolences to “please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on her facebook fan page. If you feel so inclined, we hope you’ll take the time to educate yourselves on Endometrial Cancer and support research efforts.”