Joanne Borgella, a finalist on Season 7 of American Idol and the first-ever winner of Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance, died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday.
She was 32 years old.
Borgella’s family confirmed the tragic news via a brief message on Facebook that reads:
“With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne.”
Borgella competed on the opening season of Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance as “Miss F.A.T.” She went on to advance to the final 12 women in 2008 on American Idol.
Five years later, Joanne was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, updating fans about her condition in a series of Facebook videos.. Her last update came on September 23, as she prepared for more radiation and chemotherapy.
“At an early age, Joanne made a choice to serve and trust the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world,” her family wrote on Facebook, adding:
“Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered,” continued Borgella’s family. “Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord.
“We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven.”