Jessica Pettway dead at 36: Beauty influencer passes away after doctors misdiagnosed stage 3 cervical cancer… leaving behind husband and two young children

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Jessica’s sister Reyni said in social media post that influencer died March 13
  • The YouTube personality was mother to two daughters with her husband of 12 years, Michael: Kailee, 10, and Zoi Lee, three
  • Pettway had revealed her brave battle with the deadly disease – and how she had been misdiagnosed – in a July 2023 post on Instagram 

Influencer Jessica Pettway has died at the age of 36 following a battle with stage 3 cervical cancer, her sister Reyni said on Instagram Friday.

Pettway’s sister Reyni – whose account is set to private – confirmed that her sister had died as she opened up about the grief she felt in a post she put up March 15, E! News reported.

‘It’s my birthday today, and the only thing I could ever wish for is for God to bring you back on this earth,’ Reyni said. ‘I lost my beautiful big sister 2 days ago, and my heart has never felt pain like this.’ 

The YouTube personality was mother to two daughters with her husband of 12 years, Michael: Kailee, 10, and Zoi Lee, three, according to Essence. 

Pettway had revealed her brave battle with the deadly disease – and how she had been misdiagnosed – in a July 2023 post on Instagram.

Influencer Jessica Pettway has died at the age of 36 following a battle with stage 3 cervical cancer, her sister Reyni said on Instagram Friday

In her July 31, 2023 post – which was her first in nine months on the platform – Pettway shared a pair of selfies as she opened up about her health crisis with her followers.

‘I took these photos a few days ago, and it’s currently my favorite photo of myself,’ Pettway said. ‘It brings me so much joy to see how far I’ve come, because a few months ago I received devastating news.

‘I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. I don’t even know where to begin, but I want to share why I’ve been gone for so long, in hopes that at least one person is encouraged by my story.’

Pettway said at first, she had been misdiagnosed with fibroids, which the Mayo Clinic says are common growths of the uterus.

‘Uterine fibroids are not cancer, and they almost never turn into cancer,’ nor are they ‘linked with a higher risk of other types of cancer in the uterus either,’ according to the Mayo Clinic.

The clinic noted that uterine fibroids can also be referred to as leiomyomas or myomas, and can ‘vary in number and size.’

Pettway said that she sought medical attention after dealing with ‘intense vaginal bleeding’ in June of 2022.

The YouTube personality was mother to two daughters with her husband of 12 years, Michael: Kailee, 10, and Zoi Lee, three

The YouTube personality was mother to two daughters with her husband of 12 years, Michael: Kailee, 10, and Zoi Lee, three 

Pettway had established herself as a social media force over the past decade, with hundreds of thousands of followers for her lifestyle and beauty content

Pettway had established herself as a social media force over the past decade, with hundreds of thousands of followers for her lifestyle and beauty content 

The social media star had appeared at the BET Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center in June of 2017

The social media star had appeared at the BET Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center in June of 2017 

Pettway had revealed her brave battle with the deadly disease - and how she had been misdiagnosed - in a July 31, 2023 post on Instagram

Pettway had revealed her brave battle with the deadly disease – and how she had been misdiagnosed – in a July 31, 2023 post on Instagram

Pettway said that she continued to receive a similar diagnosis over the next seven months until she went to an oncologist for an examination on February 8, 2023.

‘He performed an out patient biopsy on me,’ Pettway said. ‘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.

‘I remember hearing that and immediately saying to myself, “I refuse to make an agreement with that diagnosis.” And so I didn’t.’

In her post announcing her sibling’s passing, Reyni shared a picture of her with Jessica together as children, describing her late sibling as ‘amazing,’ ‘strong,’ ‘confident’ and a supportive sibling who ‘helped [her] become a better mother.’

Pettway had established herself as a social media force over the past decade, amassing a large audience on YouTube of more than 228,000 subscribers with 441 videos on her page, which she began in November of 2013. 

Pettway also amassed a following of more than 151,000 followers on Instagram, as she dubbed herself ‘The Compton Bohemian’ providing digital content for people in the genres of style, lifestyle and beauty. 

WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?

Cervical cancer affects the lining of the lower part of womb.

The most common symptom is unusual bleeding, such as between periods, during sex or after the menopause, but other signs can include:

  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal discharge that smells 
  • Pain in the pelvis

Causes can include:

  • Age – more than half of sufferers are under 45
  • HPV infection – which affects most people at some point in their lives
  • Smoking – responsible for 21 per cent of cases
  • Contraceptive pill – linked to 10 per cent of cases
  • Having children
  • Family history of cervical or other types of cancer, like vagina

Source: Cancer Research UK 

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