Elly Mayday, Plus-Size Model With Ovarian Cancer, Is Changing The Status Quo Of Beauty

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Meet our new body image heroine: Elly Mayday.

The 25-year-old plus-size model is single-handedly (not counting the help of some 79,000 Facebook fans) breaking down body image barriers to redefine beauty on her own terms.

Diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer last year, the 25-year-old has since had a hysterectomy and lost her hair from chemotherapy. But, inspiringly, she refuses to let her scars and baldness stop her modelling career.

"In the lingerie industry, it's not something you do," Elly told ABC News.

"It's all about long hair and big breasts and arched backs. But it's important to show what real women look like underneath their clothes."

"I hope people are inspired to go outside with the scars and without their hair on," she added.

Elly was finalising plans to move to New York when she was diagnosed with a serious carcinoma. As a result her trip was put on hold.

"I was told it was a cyst so many times, and I just knew deep down in my heart that there was something else wrong," she told Canadian television network CTV.

"It was kind of a point of realisation, either, 'Do I stop [modelling] now, or do I keep on going and be the person that I was raised to be and the person that I know I am?"

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Elly regularly keeps Facebook fans updated with her progress. She recently wrote: "My Ct scan results were read to me today. The cancer has stopped growing and has decreased in size. I was told that chemo would not have much of an affect on my cancer, if any at all. Strange huh?"

She added: "I know this will bring a smile to many faces tonight, thanks for all the love and continued support."

Forever Yours Lingerie, a company which sells underwear for women of all sizes, began working with Elly last year.

"At the time, she was a size 14 and had a nice bust and a small waist and big, full hips and behind," said Sonya Jenkins, the co-founder of Forever Yours Lingerie told ABCNews.com. "We wanted to represent that look."

"Elly is awesome and fun and bubbly and light-hearted and doesn't take anything super seriously," Sonya added. "And she is an incredibly hard worker."

After her diagnosis, the lingerie company were keen to continue working with Elly and shot her for their latest campaign.

 
Presented by Breast Cancer Campaign