Fitness Influencer Cheyann Shaw Dies at 27 After Cancer Diagnosis: 'She Fought Until the Bitter End'
Cheyann Shaw was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in August 2016
Cheyann Shaw, a fitness influencer who competed in bodybuilding competitions, has died at the age of 27.
Her death was announced in a statement shared on her Instagram on Monday.
"With heavy hearts, we are sad to announce that our beautiful girl Cheyann has been called home to heaven," the statement read. "Thank you all for your support and encouragement over the years. If there’s one thing Cheyann taught us is that no matter what battles we face, we can always find a reason to smile through them. 🦋 ✨"
Shaw's mother, Darci Clark, also provided a statement of her own in the heartbreaking post, saying in a quote, "My heart is breaking today, our baby girl lost her long battle with ovarian cancer. She fought until the bitter end. She is a true warrior and survivor. She will be truly missed and will forever be in my heart."
Shaw was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in August 2016.
She opened up to PEOPLE about the diagnosis that December, saying, "When I was first diagnosed, I was scared, but it went away quickly. I knew that I had no choice but to fight. I wasn’t going to let cancer win.
"I also knew that my husband and family need me and there is no way I am leaving them," Shaw said. "So that is when I put my boxing gloves on and got in the ring to knock cancer out."
Shaw started chemotherapy shortly after her diagnosis and underwent a five-and-a-half-hour surgery in October 2016, during which doctors took out her spleen, appendix, part of her colon and performed a full hysterectomy.
A year later, Shaw announced that doctors had found "no evidence" of cancer in her body.
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"NED= No Evidence of Disease!🙏🏻 A 3 letter word that I never knew I would love so much!" she wrote in a November 2017 post. "It’s crazy to look back on the 1 year and 3 month battle against cancer I faced and to sit here and say that I DID IT!💪🏻."
Shaw spent the next two years sharing her fitness tips and providing health updates to her followers.
On Jan. 15, 2020, a day after her 27th birthday, Shaw revealed that "there is cancer in 4 of my lymph nodes."
"I’ve had cancer in the 3 lymph nodes before (2 near the liver and 1 by my groin) when I was back in Seattle and I do have a new one, near my collarbone. It’s not the news I wanted but it is some of the best news in the worst situation," she wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. "It’s time to put the gloves back on and knock this thing out for good, one last time."
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Shaw began another round of chemotherapy in March, writing on her Instagram at the time, "It felt weird checking back in for chemo."
"This entire thing is freaking weird for me right now but this morning when I woke up, I felt confident and I felt peaceful. When I walked through the doors to get chemo, I felt comfort and reassurance. I felt God and I didn’t feel alone," she said. "Today was a great day, to kick cancers butt."
Shaw gave her last update in December, posting a photo of herself from the hospital bed.
"Hey y’all! It’s been a minute since my last update but things have been going well! I’ve been in and out of the hospital with a liver issue that has been fixed and now I’m on a feeding tube which is totally okay. Your girl needed some help with food lol," she captioned the shot. "I start chemo on Tuesday and should be going home today or tomorrow, just in time for Christmas. Keep the prayers coming and keeping sending all the light."
On Monday, Shaw's husband, Kaleb Shaw, shared a heartfelt tribute to the fitness model following her death.
"My heart is broken. I can’t imagine my life without her," he wrote on his own Instagram. "I know she is in a better place away from the pain and suffering that comes with dealing with cancer. She is my hero, best friend and inspired not only myself, but thousands of people around the world. Please continue to pray for my family as we go thought this difficult time."