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Survivor star Angie Jakusz passes away at 40 in New Orleans… three years after cancer diagnosis

Angie Jakusz, a fierce competitor on Survivor’s tenth season filmed in the island-country of Palau, passed away on January 8 after a hard-fought battle with cancer, according to People

The former reality contestant, who was born and raised in Wisconsin, was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer in November 2017, according to a GoFundMe created by her husband of nine years, Steven Calandra. 

‘A graveside service was held on Wednesday afternoon in Metairie, Louisiana‘ for Jakusz, who worked as a bartender and an artist, according to the outlet.  

A fighter: Angie Jakusz, a fierce competitor on Survivor's tenth season filmed in the island-country of Palau, passed away on January 8 after a hard-fought battle with cancer, according to People; seen in 2004

A fighter: Angie Jakusz, a fierce competitor on Survivor's tenth season filmed in the island-country of Palau, passed away on January 8 after a hard-fought battle with cancer, according to People; seen in 2004

A fighter: Angie Jakusz, a fierce competitor on Survivor’s tenth season filmed in the island-country of Palau, passed away on January 8 after a hard-fought battle with cancer, according to People; seen in 2004

She was survived by her husband, parents, brother, niece and nephew. 

Jakusz was just 25-years-old when she appeared on the reality competition series in 2005, where a group of contestants are stranded in a remote location with little more than the clothes on their back and a shot a winning $1 million. 

While she was first targeted for her 11 colorful tattoos and losing the first challenge, the star performed well in many challenges and won over her tribe and viewers. 

Eventually, she voted off in 13th place and, most recently, was seen on Survivor’s ten-year anniversary party in 2010. 

Memorable: The former reality contestant, who was born and raised in Wisconsin, was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer in November 2017, according to a GoFundMe created by her husband of nine years, Steven Calandra (pictured on the second episode of Survivor: Palau in 2005)

Memorable: The former reality contestant, who was born and raised in Wisconsin, was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer in November 2017, according to a GoFundMe created by her husband of nine years, Steven Calandra (pictured on the second episode of Survivor: Palau in 2005)

Memorable: The former reality contestant, who was born and raised in Wisconsin, was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer in November 2017, according to a GoFundMe created by her husband of nine years, Steven Calandra (pictured on the second episode of Survivor: Palau in 2005)

‘She broke the casting barrier. Fans related to her story so much. And a lot of people wanted to see her play again for her strength,’ Survivor: Palau contestant Coby Archa told People of Jakusz’s legacy.

He continued: ‘She wasn’t into the fame, just the experience of Survivor. She came, she played, and she went back to her life in New Orleans. She liked her life that way.’ 

According to a GoFundMe, she was battling a rare form of squamous cell colorectal cancer, but her husband appeared optimistic that she would ‘make a full recovery.’

A Fan-favorite: Jakusz was just 25-years-old when she appeared on the reality competition series in 2005, where a group of contestants are stranded in a remote location with little more than the clothes on their back

A Fan-favorite: Jakusz was just 25-years-old when she appeared on the reality competition series in 2005, where a group of contestants are stranded in a remote location with little more than the clothes on their back

A Fan-favorite: Jakusz was just 25-years-old when she appeared on the reality competition series in 2005, where a group of contestants are stranded in a remote location with little more than the clothes on their back

At the time, he even noted the cancer had an ‘80% success rate among patients’ and reminded fans that his wife was ‘healthy and strong.’ 

‘Angie is an amazing, creative, fearless and all around bad a** woman. She’s a painter, designer, seamstress and baker,’ he gushed of his wife.  

Calandra also noted that ‘it took three months to diagnose Angie’s illness’ and, at the time, she ‘was without insurance.’ 

Tragic: She is the second cast member from Survivor: Palau to die, ten years after Jenn Lyon passed at the age of 37 after she was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer

Tragic: She is the second cast member from Survivor: Palau to die, ten years after Jenn Lyon passed at the age of 37 after she was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer

Tragic: She is the second cast member from Survivor: Palau to die, ten years after Jenn Lyon passed at the age of 37 after she was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer

‘With all the tests, scans, days off work, and medication her medical expenses piled up quickly. We are looking to raise $30,000 to cover these costs. All of the money raised will go directly towards the bills Angie incurred during her diagnosis,’ he wrote. 

Her hobbies included painting, reading, traveling, sewing, painting, doing nail art, snorkeling, scuba diving, among many more. 

She is the second cast member from Survivor: Palau to die, ten years after Jenn Lyon passed at the age of 37 after she was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. 

Six other Survivor contestant have died since the show’s debut in 2000, including B.B. Andersen (2013), Caleb Bankston (2014), Dan Kay (2016), Ashley Massaro (2019), Rudy Boesch (2019), and Cliff Robinson (2020). 

'Angie is an amazing, creative, fearless and all around bad a** woman. She's a painter, designer, seamstress and baker,' Jakusz's husband of nine years, Steven Calandra, wrote of her

'Angie is an amazing, creative, fearless and all around bad a** woman. She's a painter, designer, seamstress and baker,' Jakusz's husband of nine years, Steven Calandra, wrote of her

‘Angie is an amazing, creative, fearless and all around bad a** woman. She’s a painter, designer, seamstress and baker,’ Jakusz’s husband of nine years, Steven Calandra, wrote of her

Source: Daily Mail US

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