Here’s what you need to know:
Jakusz Died After a Battle With Cancer
TMZ first reported that Jakusz died Friday, January 8, in the New Orleans area. The cause of death has not yet been released, but a GoFundMe page created in January 2018 said that in November 2017, Jakusz was diagnosed with “a rare form of squamous cell colorectal cancer.”
The page said it “took three months to diagnose” Jakusz’s illness and they incurred $30,000 in medical bills because she was uninsured. She later became qualified for insurance, but the family was looking for help in covering the part of her care that was not covered.
“With a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiation, this form of cancer has an 80% success rate among patients,” the page reads. “While her treatment will be exhausting and taxing on her body, Angie is a healthy and strong 37-year-old woman and we expect her to make a full recovery.”
Jakusz was born March 27, 1980, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and spent time in New York and San Francisco before permanently settling in New Orleans where she worked as a bartender, according to the GoFundMe page. She also enjoyed painting, designing, sewing and baking.
Her obituary reads, “Angie was an incredibly passionate person with an extraordinary lust for life. Whether she was sewing, painting, drawing, doing nail art or makeup, costuming, reading, snorkeling, scuba diving, traveling or just raising hell, she did it lovingly and with laser precision. She was a founding member of the New Orleans Noise Coalition and had been a contestant on season 10 of Survivor. She is survived by her husband of nine years, Steven Calandra; her parents, Linda and Wayne Jakusz; her brother, Jon Jakusz; a niece, Addison Calandra and a nephew, Leo Robert Probst-Jakusz.”
Jakusz is the second Survivor: Palau castaway to die after a battle with cancer. Fourth-place finisher Jenn Lyon died from breast cancer in 2010.
Angie’s Time on ‘Survivor’
Jakusz competed on the 10th season of Survivor, which was filmed in Palau. It was the first season to feature 20 contestants, and it was also the infamous Ulong tribe season, where every member of Ulong was voted out until it was just Stephenie LaGrossa left. Jakusz “was known to be very independent, earning herself the nickname “No Fun Angie,’” according to E!
Jakusz was part of the ill-fated Ulong tribe. She was voted out after trying to go after Bobby Jon Drinkard and finished in 13th place.
Her tribemate Coby Archa wrote on Twitter upon learning of her death, “I knew she was battling cancer a few years ago but I had no idea this was her end. So sad. So very sad.”
Tribemate Kimberly Mullen added, “I learned tonight of the passing of my castmate and tribe mate from Survivor Palau. Gone too soon. embracer of life her light extinguished too soon the night now darker rip angie.”
Archa also told People, “People have to remember back in 2005 women weren’t cast on Survivor with dreads and tattoos. She broke the casting barrier. Fans related to her story so much. And a lot of people wanted to see her play again for her strength.”
He continued, “We had heard from her family 3 years ago that she was battling cancer. We raised some money for her treatments. She wasn’t into the fame, just the experience of Survivor. She came, she played, and she went back to her life in New Orleans. She liked her life that way.”
Read more about Jakusz’s husband and family in our profile here.