Fashion blogger Kyrzayda Rodríguez died on Sunday morning after battling stage 4 stomach cancer for almost a year. Rodriguez, who was born in the Dominican Republic, was a pioneer in fashion, rising through the ranks as a leader in the Latina blogging community.

Rodríguez first announced her diagnosis in November 2017 and remained candid about her condition on her Instagram feed, constantly updating followers on her day-to-day fight with stomach chancer. She also made a statement by opting out of wearing a wig when she began undergoing chemotherapy. “My hair was me and a wig wasn’t going to replace that,” Rodriguez told Refinery29. “I respect women who embrace wigs, but I just felt that if I was going to share this journey I needed to do it all the way.”

Throughout her journey, Rodríguez never stopped posting on her Instagram and blog, even hosting seminars and pop-up shops in New York City and New Jersey. She revealed she shot several looks in one day whenever she’d feel better, in order to have constant content on her site. Still, she told Refinery29 some brands did stop working with her, which she said she understood. “Unfortunately, I don’t represent what they might be looking for,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, who was constant guest at New York Fashion Week, announced last week she wasn’t able to attend the shows due to her deteriorating health. Fashion blogger Daniela Ramirez responded by starting the Instagram campaign #YouInspireUsKyrzayda. Thousands joined in, sharing anecdotes and sending prayers for Rodriguez, who celebrated her 40th birthday recently.

Close friend and photographer Geraldine Torres confirmed her death on Sunday afternoon on Instagram, calling the blogger “her sweet angel in heaven.” Torres also asked followers for privacy and prayers for Rodriguez’s family. Some of her closest colleagues and friends have shared tributes on Instagram as well, highlighting Rodriguez’s work ethic, commitment to uplifting Latina bloggers, and unique sense of style.

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I’m at loss. I edited this picture with your favorite VSCO filter A6. I had to be strong and do Fashion Week for both of us because I know how much you love it. A thousand emotions are taking over me. I want to yell, scream and cry while maintaining my composure. She was fire, she was light and boy she was warmth. She was a motherly friend and a great supporter. My dear friend. Someone who learned to read between my lines. Masks were off when I was with her because my soul found refuge in her friendship. She taught me to push through when I didn’t even had strength to push further. So many times I wanted to quit my blog but you were my biggest router. May her journey back home be filled with love and may God provide those whom she left behind solace. I want to scream but I hear her voice now telling me “Keep pushing kiddo” “Te mato si no vas” “Fucking do it because you are doing it for both of us” and so I WILL. Te amo Kyrzayda. I will always. I promise to keep blogging and being my best because you wanted me to be the best. I lost my friend!

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Heaven has gained a beautiful angel. @kyrzayda_ was the sweetest person I’ve ever met. About 5 years ago she came up to me at a blogger conference to introduce herself and let me know she was Dominican too. She was so excited and made me feel like a freaking celebrity. Then I went to follow her on Instagram and she had more than double my following! Lol I was like “wow now that’s a cool chick.” And that’s a perfect example of who she was. She didn’t care about numbers or playing that blogger competition game, she cared about people and connections. I regret not getting to know her better. We only saw each other here and there at NYFW and when I stopped going we only connected via Instagram DMs. Usually ones where she was congratulating me on an acting gig she saw me in or a blogger feature because again that’s who she was…a loving person who genuinely cared. I’m so grateful for this moment captured of us and all the little moments I got to share with her. Sending so much love to her family & friends. What a loss. A lesson in how precious every day of life is…you will be greatly missed. ❤️ #ripkyrzayda

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Dreaming together !! Shopping for our stores. Soñando juntas, siempre entre trapos. Calculando esos chelitos para no pasarnos. Comprando juntas para nuestras tiendas. Recuerdo que me decías cógelo, se te va vender. Mierkina quisiera decir que estoy tranquila en paz, pero me estaría mintiendo y la verdad es que siento una impotencia. No entiendo, honestamente no entiendo. Fucking Cancer me ha arrancado tantas personas , revivo hoy lo de mi Mamá, lo de mi hermana Ruth y ahora tu mi Kri , pero después recuerdo como hasta tu último suspiro le diste gracias a Dios , que grande eres mi pequeña. Como entre tu dolor , decías : DIOS tiene control. Nunca te escuché un día perder la fe. Que bendita lección de vida me has dado Kri. I’m broken so broken I don’t understand, just DONT . You would probably darme un boche y decirme Glency, las cosas de Dios no hay que entenderlas solo ACEPTARLAS, pq eres así de grande. Coño KRISince I know your scrolling on Instagram in heaven as we joked just wanted to say I LOVE U and miss u already.

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