Tributes pour in for Mama Cax, model and disability rights advocate, after her death aged 30

21 December 2019, 14:03

Mama Cax was a powerful advocate for inclusivity in fashion
Mama Cax was an advocate for inclusivity in fashion. Picture: Getty

By Sylvia DeLuca

Trailblazing model and advocate for women of colour and disabled women in fashion, Mama Cax, has died aged 30.

The Haitian-American model, whose full name was Cacsmy Brutus, died on Monday after falling ill on a trip to London, her family wrote in an Instagram post.

"To say that Cax was a fighter would be an understatement. As a cancer survivor she had grown accustomed to taking on life's several challenges head on and successfully," read the family's post.

Mama Cax lost her right leg to lung and bone cancer as a teenager. As a model, she sought to celebrate her disability rather than hide it, often by decorating her prosthetic leg in colourful designs.

Mama Cax modelled for some of the biggest names in fashion, including Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora and Asos and was the cover star for September's issue of Teen Vogue.

Singer Rihanna paid condolences on Twitter, writing: "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 @mama_cax."

Mama Cax walked for Rihanna's Savage x Fenty label in October, as well as walking in both New York Fashion Weeks this year.

The model was known for her distinctive street style and walked the first ever White House fashion show in 2016.

Blogger and activist Mama Cax attending the VH1 Trailblazer Honours at The Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York.
Blogger and activist Mama Cax attending the VH1 Trailblazer Honours at The Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York. Picture: PA

Actress Jameela Jamil also paid tribute to Mama Cax on social media, describing her "beautiful friend" as "the most extraordinary role model."

"She was sent home TWICE prematurely by our underfunded NHS and died in her hotel room. This happens so often now in the UK, especially to young black women," wrote Jameela Jamil in her Twitter post.

The American Association of People with Disabilities wrote in a tribute: "It is with deep sorrow that we extend our condolences to the family & loved ones of @mama_cax.

"Mama Cax was a model, influencer, cancer survivor, amputee, & a dedicated advocate for disability rights. We cannot thank you enough for sharing your life and passion with us!"

Mama Cax first became famous through her blog, in which she openly wrote about disability - alongside posts about fashion, travel and general lifestyle.

She had posted on Instagram over recent weeks of her struggles with new health issues.

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