in memoriam

Model and Activist Mama Cax Has Died

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

On Friday morning, it was announced that the Haitian-American model and activist Mama Cax died on December 16 at the age of 30. The news was shared in a post on her personal Instagram account.

Cax, born Cacsmy Brutus, lost her leg to bone and lung cancer when she was 14. She would go on to become a voice for women with disabilities and women of color in the fashion industry, modeling for brands like Tommy Hilfiger and ASOS. She landed a Teen Vogue cover in 2018 and made her runway debut with Chromat that same year. More recently, she walked in Rihanna’s groundbreaking Savage x Fenty lingerie show.

“To say that Cax was a fighter would be an understatement,” her family wrote on Instagram. “As a cancer survivor, she had grown accustomed to taking on life’s several challenges head on and successfully. It is with that same grit (fervor) that she fought her last days on earth.”

According to the Instagram post, Cax spent a week in the hospital before her death. While in London for a photo shoot earlier this month, she reportedly discovered blood clots in her leg, thigh, abdomen, and around a medical filter near her lungs that was implanted when she was a teenager. Friends and fans left heartfelt messages in the comments.

“A queen. A force. A powerhouse beauty that brought her strength to the Savage x Fenty stage this year inspiring so many across the globe,” Rihanna wrote in tribute on Instagram this morning. “Rest in power, Sis.”

Model-Activist Mama Cax Has Died