By LYDIA WARREN
Tragic: Eva Ekvall, pictured as she is crowned Miss Venezuela in 2000, has died from breast cancer aged 28
Former Venezuelan beauty queen Eva Ekvall has died from breast cancer aged just 28.
The mother-of-one died on Saturday in a Houston, Texas hospital after a two year struggle with the disease, her family said.
Famous in her teenage years for her beauty, Ms Ekvall went on to become a news anchor, author and one of her home country's greatest cancer charity advocates.
Born to an American father and Jamaican mother, she was working in a clothes store in Caracas when she was spotted by a modelling agency scout.
'To me that was ridiculous,' she told the Guardian earlier this year. 'I thought I was overweight. I just couldn't be a model.
Beauty: Aged 18, Ekvall, second from left, was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico bbg
'But one day I got fired so I took a cab and went to the modelling agency. Once they saw me … they said they had the next Miss Venezuela right there.'
Aged 17, she was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2000. The following year, she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico.
Stunning: Ms Ekvall went on to become a model and news anchor for Venevision in her home country
The journalism graduate became a model, actress and television news anchor for Venevision.
She was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in February 2010, and underwent eight months of treatment including chemotherapy, radiation and a mastectomy.
Loss: A fresh-faced Ekvall in April 2010, two months after she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer
Battle: Ms Ekvall, pictured, documented her struggle with the disease in a book Fuera de Foco - or Out of Focus
Loss: Ms Ekvall, pictured with her daughter, thought a lump in her breast was due to her pregnancy
She was married to radio producer John Fabio Bermudez and had a two-year-old daughter, Miranda.
In her book, Ms Ekvall described her joy at having a daughter, writing 'that happiness, although [Miranda] may not know it or understand it, keeps me alive today'.
On Sunday, her husband posted a photograph of the two holding hands on Twitter, writing: 'Always together ... I love you wife.'
In a statement, Ekvall's family said her remains were being cremated in Houston on Monday.
'Sadly, cancer had the last word,' writer Leonardo Padron told Globovision.
Family: Ekvall, left, leaves behind her husband John Fabio Bermudez and their two-year-old daughter Miranda