Download video: Miss Universe In Memory of Eva Ekvall 1983-2011 (Part 5)
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Eva Ekvall was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She was raised in both the United States and Venezuela and was fluent in English and Spanish from childhood. Ekvall attended the Academia Washington of Caracas. Her father, Eric Ekvall, is an American of Swedish and Hungarian descent,who has lived in Venezuela since the early 1980s and worked as a political analyst. Her mother, Dawn Johnson, was born in Jamaica, and once ran a small modelling agency in Alaska, where she met Eva's father. Eva grew up with an older brother, Alec, who is a musician.
Aged 17, Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela of 2000, and the next year was third runner-up in the Miss Universe Pageant. As a Buddhist,she was the first non-Christian to have won the title of Miss Venezuela.
Ekvall married radio producer John Fabio Bermúdez in September 2007.The couple have one daughter, Miranda, born in July 2009.
In February 2010, just months after giving birth to her only child, Ekvall was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, and underwent eight months of treatment that included chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a double radical mastectomy.She chronicled this experience in a book of photographs, Fuera de Foco(Out of Focus), released on December 2010. She went on to become an advocate for SenosAyuda, a cancer awareness group.
When told to have had a recurrence of her disease Ekvall moved to the United States and checked into University General Hospital in Houston, Texas. Despite the intense medical treatment her health condition began deteriorating and she died in the afternoon of December 17, 2011with her husband and parents by her side. In a statement, Ekvall's family said her remains were to be cremated in Houston.
Her death brought an outpouring of condolences from Venezuelans, including some prominent artists and politicians. Ekvall's husband posted a photo on Twitter Sunday showing a close-up of his hand holding hers, resting on a hospital bed, with the words "Always together... I love you wife".