America's Next Top Model Contestant Jael Strauss Has Stage 4 Breast Cancer

"i don't want to die," the former reality star wrote to fans and friends on social media.

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 09, 2018 5:24 PMTags
Jael Strauss, America's Next Top ModelMark Mainz/Getty Images

America's Next Top Model alum Jael Strauss has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. 

The former reality star, who placed sixth on the eighth season of Tyra Banks' hit TV franchise, revealed to fans and friends on Facebook last week that she learned of her diagnosis at the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

"I was gonna write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know," her social media post began. "On October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable. With treatment it may prolong my life longer than the 'few months' doctors said I could make it." She clarified that the full title of her diagnosis is rapidly progressive metastatic inflammatory breast cancer.

"I don't want to die," the Detroit native candidly wrote. "I need another one of those miracles that I got back in 2013."

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In late 2012, she reemerged in the spotlight on Dr. Phil, where her battle with addiction was revealed publicly and an intervention had been staged for her. While she later said she felt she had been exploited on the show, Strauss set out on a journey of recovery and celebrated five years of sobriety in August. 

"I know a few things to be true: Miracles are real, Recovery is possible for everyone no matter how far gone you think you are," she penned on social media at the time. "We are never too broken to be put back together, Service work feels better than the greatest high, Sobriety makes you weirder not normal and I'd be dead if it weren't for all the love and forgiveness I've been showered with by my friends and family."

Since the diagnosis, Strauss' friends have set up a GoFundMe page, where more than $6,000 has been raised toward a goal of $15,000. As the page explains, Strauss is in pain, unable to work and at risk of losing her health insurance. 

"She has just begun chemo, but we do not know how things will play out," the fundraiser page reads. "What we do know is that Jael is putting all of her energy and drive into fighting this insidious disease and can use as much support and love as possible."