The death of this style blogger reminds all of us to appreciate life

IMAGE @kyrzayda_ on Instagram

Kyrzayda Rodriguez, a style blogger from Dominican Republic, inspires many cancer fighters with her own battle story. The New Jersey-based fashion influencer openly shared her story to followers on Instagram until her last breath. Kyrzayda passed away on September 9, 2018.


Meet Kyrzayda Rodriguez, a Dominican fashion blogger based in New Jersey, U.S.A.

At 39, she found out she had stage 4 stomach cancer.

Back in October 2017, Kyrzayda interrupted her curated feed on Instagram with a "Not your typical selfie" post.

The style blogger laid on a hospital bed with a nasal cannula around her face.

She wrote, "I listened to my body last night because something wasn’t right.

"I was admitted into the hospital and now they are running some tests.

"What I thought was bloating ended up being fluid in my lungs & stomach...

"This is reality guys appreciate life, your health, & the people around you."

Little did Kyrzayda know, she had just opened a new chapter in her life.

On November 6, just a few days after her hospitalization, Kyrzayda broke news to her half-a-million Instagram followers that she has stomach cancer.

She captioned, "I still don't know how to wrap my head around all this info. I know God will guide me but guys this has been the toughest challenge.

"I have learned so much this week ... that kindness is stronger than anything, than your past and your mistakes...

"This is a new journey for me, I don't want to fall into 'why me' but find ways to overcome..."

At that point, Kyrzayda admitted in an interview with New York-based lifestyle website, Refinery 29, that "she felt a moment of defeat."

But her love and passion for people fueled her to continue work.

On the surface, everything appeared like business as usual on her Instagram feed.

She continued posting stylish OOTDs, attending fashion events, and collaborating with fashion labels.

But ever since her diagnosis, her Instagram was converted from a style blog to a documentation of her battle with stomach cancer.

Every now and then, her Instagram posts chronicled her chemotherapy, her weight loss, and her hair loss journey.

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It captured her good moments as well as the bad ones.

At times, Kyrzayda wouldn't hesitate to detail her bad days.

She wrote on one of her Instagram posts last June, "Cancer you have taken everything from me, my weight, my hair, my ability to function, it’s hard to walk, lately even talk.

"Cancer you manage to break my heart everyday.

"For 4 years I work so hard doing what I love, building my brand... Doing what I love is no longer my option.

"I miss being the girl on 'this photo.' I miss the gym, running my own errands, I miss breathing.

"I miss my health and being able to laugh without having pain. Not to mention all the side effects from chemo and all the extra needles that go inside my stomach, and lungs every week in order for me to survive. Not to mention seeing my mom cry daily because of YOU... Cancer!"

But even in her hardest days, Kyrzayda chose to look at the positive side of life.

She continued on the same post, "Cancer unfortunately you cannot touch my soul, and the love and support from the ones who love me.

"Unfortunately with my bald head I still inspire one or two people.

"Cancer you taught me a lesson in LIFE nothing is more than having Christ in your heart, and your health.

"As you guys can see even success or money can’t buy you peace & happiness.

"The perfect life everyone portraits on social media is just that 'social media.'

"[We're] people [who] only post the good.

"I’m not going to lie I’m tired, so tired. My life is no longer the same but I’m going to hold on to God.

"Thank you all for the good vibes, prayers, messages and visits! To everyone fighting Cancer I understand your pain [sad emoji]

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"(P.S guys pls don’t feel sorry for me this is my fight, and I’m glad to share my journey with all of you each day)"

40TH BIRTHDAY

August 2018 was a major turning point in Kyrzayda's battle with cancer.

At the start of the month, the style influencer revealed that her cancer treatments were "not working the way I hoped it would."

She then disclosed that she had stopped chemotherapy and radiation treatments altogether.

Kyrzayda wrote, "I have decided to stop these treatments so that I can enjoy the rest of my time with my friends and family and to be as pain free as possible.

"Everyone's journey is different, God does not make mistakes, what is supposed to happen will happen.

"I am not mad…I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have been blessed with.

"One of the best things you can do for someone going through something like this is to support their decision.

"I will never give up on my fight..."

Still, Kyrzayda had something momentous to look forward to that month—her 40th birthday.

At the start of the day, in an Instagram post she looked back and talked to her younger self.

It read: "Thank you 30s I learned to be wiser, kinder, and more loving to myself.

"I also learned that I don't have to have it all together by 30 as society wants me [to].

"I went after my dreams, and I created a life for myself that is mine. I'm so proud for not following rules, and for fighting the unfortunate 'cancer' which does not define my blessings.

"Welcome 40... I'm sharing this photo because it [represented] my 30s... a chapter in my life I’m ready to close.

"I'm thankful to God for the unconditional love of my family & friends which is priceless."

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Later on, Kyrzayda and her loved ones celebrated her special day with a casual party.

"I danced like no one was watching, I smiled as I wasn’t in pain, I enjoyed my loved ones.

"I felt true love in one room!

"I thought to myself if maybe love could cure cancer? That would [be] my birthday wish.

"Eternally grateful for the love of my friends, family and my IG fam...

"Love cancels all pain, time to win!!"

"NO LONGER IN PAIN"

A few weeks after turning 40, Kyrzayda died on September 9.

Joane, a person close to her, posted this message on her Instagram that day, "You were someone who inspired so many people across the world.

"Not only were you an icon, you were an amazing daughter, mother, and friend.

"Our hearts are broken to see you go. But we know you are no longer in pain and can now rest.

"Heaven has gained an Angel!

"We love you forever! - Joanne

"8.18.78 - 9.9.18"

Many of Kyrzayda's followers took to social media to mourn her passing.

They sent their messages with the hashtag "#YouInspireUsKyrzayda."

One fan described her as a "fearless, graceful, strong, stylish and elegant woman" who is "now an angel in heaven..."


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