Survivor: Palau star Angie Jakusz has sadly died after a battle with cancer at just 40-years-old. The tragic news was confirmed via an obituary published by her family via Louisiana news site Nola.com, noting that she died on Friday, January 8, 2021. “Angie was an incredibly passionate person with an extraordinary lust for life,” the obituary read. “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,” her family also added. Learn more about the gone-too-soon reality star here.
1. She competed on Survivor. Angie was just 25-years-old when she competed on the intense reality show in 2005, and was a target for her multiple tattoos (she had 11 at the time). Although she became somewhat of a challenge superstar, Angie was voted off in 13th place according to a Survivor fan site.
2. She was married. Angie was married to her husband Steven Calandra of nine years at the time of her death. “Angie is an amazing, creative, fearless and all around bad ass woman,” Steven wrote on a GoFundMe page after her cancer diagnosis.
3. She was raised in Wisconsin. Angie was born Cassandra Anne Jakusz on March 27, 1980 to Linda and Wayne Jakusz. She has a brother, Jon Jakusz. Although she settled as an adult in New Orleans, Angie was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Jakusz. After attending and graduating from Mukwonago High School, she also lived in both New York City and San Francisco according to her iMDB profile.
4. She battled cancer. Angie was diagnosed with a rare form of squamous cell colorectal cancer in Nov. 2017. With mounting medical bills upwards of $30,000 dollars, she and her husband Steven sought to help raise funds via a GoFundMe campaign. “With a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiation, this form of cancer has a 80% success rate among patients,” Steven wrote in 2017.
“It took three months to diagnose Angie’s illness. During that time she was without insurance. With all the tests, scans, days off work, and medication her medical expenses piled up quickly. We are looking to raise $30,000 to cover these costs. All of the money raised will go directly towards the bills Angie incurred during her diagnosis,” he explained.
Former Survivor cast member Coby Archa also reveled contestants from her season helped out. “We had heard from her family 3 years ago that she was battling cancer,” Coby told People. “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.” Angie is the second contestant from her season to die of cancer: Jennifer Lyon lost her battle to breast cancer in 2010 at just 37-years-old.
5. She was a restaurant manager. Prior to her diagnosis, Angie was the manager of New Orleans restaurant Saint Lawrence in the French quarter. The former bartender also previously worked at a tattoo shop and as an ink lab technician. “She’s a painter, designer, seamstress and baker,” her husband wrote on a 2017 GoFundMe page. “She’ll make you a custom corset, costume or cake! Angie was also a founding member of the New Orleans Noisician Coalition!” Steven also wrote.