Photo Credit: Coral Von Zumwalt
A competitor on CBS' Survivor: Palau, Jennifer Lyon, passed away Tuesday night at her home in Oregon. She was 37.
"In the summer of 2004, I felt something in my right breast that didn't feel normal," the reality contestant told People in October 2005. "I thought it was probably scar tissue related to my breast implants. So I let it go -- for a long time."
Lyon was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer the following year, just a few months after she completed her stint on the CBS reality show. After weighing her options, she chose to have a bilateral mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy and drug treatments to prevent a recurrence.
In the past, Lyon has said that being on Survivor gave her the strength to fight. "Survivor taught me there's an end in sight," she told People. "As hard as it is, it will be over, and you have to appreciate every day."
The show's host Jeff Probst spoke to Lyon just before her death. "If I learned anything from Jenn it is this: Don’t be afraid to ask someone how they are truly feeling about dying," Jeff says. "Don’t shy away from the scary parts of death. They need someone to talk to about what is going on inside their head. Most importantly, encourage them to let go of the expectations of others and give them permission to do what is right for them, even if it means letting go."
Send your condolences to Jennifer Lyon's friends and family below.