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Beauty YouTuber Jessica Pettway dies of cancer at 36 after misdiagnosis

By Brooke Villanueva Published Mar 21, 2024 10:20 am

Jessica Pettway, who became known for her beauty and fashion content on YouTube, passed away aged 36.

Her sister Reyni Brown announced her death in an Instagram post, saying that her "heart has never felt pain like this."

Describing the late vlogger as the "most amazing, strong, confident" woman she has ever known, Reyni said that her life "will never be the same without her crazy laugh, pranks, or jokes."

"Losing a sibling feels like a connection between us was destroyed," she continued. "I love you with all my heart."

Jessica revealed her cervical cancer diagnosis in July 2023. The National Cancer Institute said the disease "starts in the cells of the cervix or the lower, narrow end of the uterus (womb)," adding that it "usually develops slowly over time."

In an Instagram post, she said that she was first misdiagnosed with fibroids, which are "growths in or on your uterus," per the Cleveland Clinic.

Jessica said that she began experiencing "intense vaginal bleeding" in June 2022 and was diagnosed with the same disease in her medical check-ups from July 2022 to January 2023. 

In February 2023, she decided to see an oncologist, who performed an outpatient biopsy on her. "When I woke up from the anesthesia, he casually said, 'Yep you have stage 3 cervical cancer.' It turns out, it was not a fibroid, but cancer. I was misdiagnosed all this time," she recalled.

Jessica had two children—10-year-old Kailee and 3-year-old Zoi Lee—with her husband of 12 years. In August 2023, she opened up about how her illness has affected her family in more ways than one. "This year rocked our world. From the countless hospital stays. To the financial strain. We been through it all! The girls are too young to understand, yet they noticed the changes. They would often ask, 'When is mommy coming home?' Or 'How come mommy keeps going in the ambulance truck?'" she shared in an Instagram post.

"Being wheeled into the ambulance and waving bye to my kids, only to see them crying for their mommy to stay home, broke me. And watching my husband break down in tears, was rough," she added.

"I gotta say, this was the toughest storm I have ever been through. Yet we made a commitment that we would get through this together," she continued.

The content creator opened her YouTube channel in November 2013. She garnered over 225,000 subscribers on the platform.