MANILA, Philippines — A finalist in the Miss Universe Jamaica 2014 pageant passed away at the age of 29 after years of battling lupus.
Zandrea Bailey died Sunday in a New York city hospital where she had been admitted for the past several weeks, a report from Jamaica’s The Gleaner said.
Miss Jamaica Universe 2014 titleholder and television host Kaci Fennell paid tribute to Bailey on Tuesday in an Instagram post captioned: “Rest well sweet girl.”
Bailey was diagnosed with the condition back in 2012. Meanwhile, she lost her mother to lupus in 2014, the same year she competed in the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant.
A friend of Bailey named Jade McLaren told The Gleaner in an interview how the beauty queen used her platform to advocate for lupus awareness in Jamaica.
“She used the foundation to reach out to other girls who also suffered from lupus. Some she helped financially, others just emotionally,” McLaren said.
“She knew what they were going through, and she was able to help them by talking to them and letting them know they were not alone,” she added.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America’s website, lupus “is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs).” /cbb