The star passed away on Tuesday morning, just two months after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
In a statement to TMZ, her family said: “The one blessing was that we were able to show her how loved she was before she passed. She brought so much light to people.”
Jael revealed to fans that she was entering a hospice last month in a post on Facebook.
She wrote: “First night in hospice. So many things I never knew about life. Or death. So many things.”
She added: “I was going to write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know. On October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable.
“With treatment it may prolong my life longer than the ‘few months’ doctors said I could make it.”
She ended the Facebook post with: “I don’t want to die. I need another one of those miracles that I got back in 2013.”
Jael was a contestant on season eight of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ in 2007 when she was 22, and placed sixth in the competition.
Jaslene Gonzalez, who was crowned the winner of that season, paid tribute on Twitter.
After the show finished, Jael struggled with drug addiction before turning her life around after appearing on a 2012 episode of Dr. Phil. In August this year she celebrated five years of sobriety
Taking to Instagram to share the milestone, she wrote: “Today I have 5 years sober. Good God! I know a few things to be true: Miracles are real. Recovery is possible for everyone no matter how far gone you think you are. We are never too broken to be put back together. Service work feels better than the greatest high. Sobriety makes you weird not normal and I’d be dead if it weren’t for all the love and forgiveness I’ve been showered with by my friends and my family.”