Raised outside a tiny Canadian town of 50 people, Elly moved to Vancouver to follow her childhood dreams of traveling, meeting new people and becoming a star. She loved working as a flight attendant and took up pin-up modeling as a hobby. The young flight attendant was on the verge of fame as a plus-size model when she got the shock diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer. But it was what she did next that really made everyone sit up and take notice.
At 25, Elly understandably thought she was still at the beginning of life. She had big plans ahead of her - she'd moved away from home to the big city, landed her dream job as a flight attendant and another career as a plus-size model beckoned. But then, after three years of irregular lower back pain and bloating that had been dismissed as nothing serious by doctors, she was suddenly diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Her prognosis wasn't good and it would have been easy for her to curl up and retreat from public life, but Elly refused to give in.
Instead, she forged ahead and posed in many shoots, bald and scarred. One in particular, a campaign for a sports bra shot by the local lingerie shop, Forever Yours lingerie, which grabbed the attention of many. With her chin up, bald-headed and bearing a long surgery scar down her front, she posed in underwear in a campaign that went viral around the world. At the time, she didn't know whether
she'd survive to see the end of the month.
Elly says, "I wanted to show you can be beautiful when you are going through hell. You’ve just got to keep your head held high and
remember, no matter how bad it gets, people have gone through even worse .You don’t know how strong you are until you are backed into a corner. I worked really hard on all my shoots because I knew I was doing something that would help others facing cancer as well. whether I made it through the year or not, those images would always last."
She made it through her difficult year. She now has a following of over 500,000 world wide on Social. Since September of 2013 she has been apart of a ground breaking documentary called "A Perfect 14" which highlights the lack of diversity in the media for plus size models as well as her and two others journey through the industry. She has traveled to Australia, Montreal, San Francisco and New York for work and has recently signed with Dorothy Combs— a major modeling agency with years of expierence . She speaks at schools to encourage body positive mentality and her inspiring story of living and modeling through cancer. Follow her Journey as she continues to Inspire us all.