Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 July 2019

Former Miss Lebanon runner-up Michele Hajal dies aged 25

She had been battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for just over a year

Former Miss Lebanon runner up Michele Hajal has died, at only 25. 
Former Miss Lebanon runner up Michele Hajal has died, at only 25. 

Michele Hajal, the third runner-up in the Miss Lebanon 2016 competition, died Monday of cancer at the age of 25.

Hajal's sister Paula announced the news in a Facebook post, writing: "Keep smiling from up above", and then later posted Hajal's funeral notice.

Michele at the Miss Lebanon competition:

Hajal was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer that affects the immune system, last year.

After treatment in Lebanon failed to bring results, Hajal launched a campaign called #FightWithMichele to raise $750,000 (Dh2.7 million) for treatment in the United States.

Hajal traveled to the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas to receive treatment for two months. On January 1 of this year, she posted on her Instagram account a thank you message to her supporters announcing that she was "cancer free".

"After two months of pain and stress, I am in complete remission now." she said. Unfortunately, the disease returned.

Hajal was posting inspirational messages and videos on her Instagram until just a few months ago.

Since news of her death broke, celebrities and fans have been paying tribute to young Hajal, and Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram wrote on Twitter: "Words cannot express the sadness in my heart. Rest in peace beautiful soul!"

Lebanese singer Elissa wrote: "You are a hero in the eyes of everyone."

Lebanese poet Ali Mawla wrote a few poetic verses with the hashtag #You_are_stronger_than_cancer in Arabic.

Hajal's funeral will take place on Wednesday, June 19 in Jal El Deeb, Lebanon.

Updated: June 19, 2019 03:04 AM

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