Spanish social media influencer Elena Huelva lost her battle with cancer yesterday after bidding farewell to her followers. The 20-year-old from Seville, who had nearly one million Instagram followers, battled with Ewing sarcoma throughout her late teenage years.
Elena was diagnosed with the rare type of bone cancer in 2016, which mainly affects children and young people. In a heartbreaking update, she said her condition had worsened and bid farewell to her followers.
She said: ‘My life has not been in vain.’ The cancer sufferer held back the tears as she explained that ‘things are not going well.’
Lying in a hospital bed with tubes attached to her airways, the influencer said: ‘They found more disease in my windpipe, which is very dangerous, as you know because that’s where we breathe.
‘I don’t need to say much more. I want to make it clear that I’ve already won.’ She spoke about wanting to make cancer a more visible issue, adding: ‘I know that my life was not in vain, because I fought and got what I wanted.’
The video garnered 970,000 likes and 90,000 comments, including from Spanish celebrities such as TV presenter Sara Carbonero, singer Manuel Carrasco, and actress Ana Obregón whose son died of the same condition.
Despite her worsening condition in December, Elena was allowed to spend Christmas at home with her parents Manuel and Emi, and older sister Emi, 26. On Sunday, Elena shared her final post of her holding hands with a loved one alongside the message: ‘Today I woke up not in the best way, in fact, nothing good, a big scare.
‘These are very difficult days, they are becoming more and more complicated, but as you know I am stronger and more complicated! ‘I want you to know that I already won, a long time ago. We continue, always.’
She signed off with her catchphrase and title of her 2022 book: ‘My desires win.’ In an update on Instagram Stories yesterday, a family member posted a photo of Elena with the caption: ‘Since this morning, Elena dances and looks down at you from her star. Thank you for everything.’
One Instagram follower wrote: ‘Rest in peace, Elena! You have been and are an inspiration.
‘Thank you for everything and much encouragement to your loved ones at this time.’
Ewing’s Sarcoma is a cancer of the bone, which usually affects the ribs, pelvis and spine. In rare cases, it also occurs in the soft tissues. The condition affects less than 30 children a year in the UK.
Around 225 young people are diagnosed annually in the US. Ewing’s Sarcoma’s cause is unclear but may relate to the timing of rapid bone growth. The most common symptom is pain, which is usually worse at night.
Others may include:
- Weight loss
Treatment depends on the size and position of the tumor but usually involves chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.
Amputation may be unavoidable if the cancer affects the surrounding blood vessels and nerves.
However, this may be avoidable by replacing the bone with a prosthesis or a bone from elsewhere in the body.