American Idol semi-finalist Joanne Borgella has died at the age of 32, reportedly from an extremely rare form of cancer. Her death took place in the early morning of Saturday, October 18.
The singer is said to had been fighting the disease for the past year, but ultimately, lost her battle with the disease this weekend. Her family took to Facebook to post the news of her passing, stating how proud they were of the way she fearlessly battled the condition for as long as possible. They went on to state that she never for one minute allowed her diagnosis to dim the bright light that was her personality. The cancer in question is a form known as endometrial cancer, which is a type of the cancer that affects the womb’s lining. Borgella’s case was said to be rare because it had spread its way to her chest, something that was extremely unheard of in terms of the type of cancer the former American Idol contestant was afflicted with. The New York native took to social media via Facebook just one month ago to update her fans on her condition and inform them that she was returning to radiation therapy to complete two more procedures.
Other than American Idol, Borgella appeared on Oxygen network’s brief reality show Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance, which showcased women who were size 10 and above, in a series of competing events that resulted in one of them being crowned Miss F.A.T, which stood for fabulous and thick. The show was created as an alternative to the multiple modeling shows that focus on women being uniformly beautiful, thin, and wearing the latest fashion trends in order to be considered attractive. Borgella took home the aforementioned winning title at the end of the show’s first season, which aired in 2005. The show continued on for another two seasons before being cancelled by the network in 2007. A year later, Borgella auditioned for the seventh season of American Idol and advanced to the top 12 girls stage before being eliminated.
This is not the first instance of a former American Idol contestant passing away due to a rare ailment in recent history. Just over three months ago, fellow season seven contestant Michael Johns passed away after a blood clot in his ankle led to deep vein thrombosis and resulted in his heart stopping. He was only 35. His death occurred while staying on a friend’s couch following a recent doctor’s visit, an appointment which was said to result in the doctor saying that there was nothing more to be done about the ankle and that it would heal in time. Further investigation revealed the fact that the Australian born singer had been drinking heavily prior to his death, something that authorities factored into their investigation behind his death. The friend at whom’s residence the singer passed away recently gave a statement in which he accused Johns’ widow of having covered up the real cause of death, which the friend says stemmed from alcohol abuse at the hands of the wife’s alleged mistreatment of him. Torrey Gambill says that Johns and his wife had been separated for quite some time when his passing occurred, and that the woman had been doing everything she could to make her ex’s life miserable since the split occurred. Thus, the situation drove him to drink heavily on a constant basis in order to cope. These claims have yet to be proven. Johns advanced further than Borgella in the hit reality show’s seventh season. He made it to the final twelve contestants and ranked eighth overall.
Former American Idol semi-finalist Joanne Borgella has passed away from cancer at the age of 32, as reported by her family. They and her fellow loved ones are asking for respect and privacy in their time of grief.
By Rebecca Grace