Via her Facebook page, her family announced her passing on Saturday, October 18 (2014):
“With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne. On Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 5:45AM, Joanne Borgella Ramirez was called by the Lord to heaven,” the post reads. “At an early age, Joanne made a choice to serve and trust the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world. Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered. Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven.”
In addition to being an ” American Idol” contestant, Borgella also won Mo’Nique’s “Fat Chance” in 2005 when she was named “Miss F.A.T.” She was also signed to Wilhelmina Models.
Prior to her death, she kept fans up-to-date on her cancer treatments on her Facebook page. Her last post was on Sept. 23.
“Gooooood morning!! We are heading back to radiation for 2 procedures!! God js with us!! I have lots to fill you in on.. The presence of The Lord is here.. Prayers up!!! I love you guys #GodsGotThis #ThePowerofPrayer #Faith #IWillbeCancerFree2014 #JoanneBorgella,” she wrote.
Born in Long Island, N.Y., she later moved to Hoboken, N.J. when she appeared on season 7 of AI. After auditioning in Philadelphia, she landed in the top 24.