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Momfluencer Jessica Pettway Dies of Cervical Cancer After Misdiagnosis

The popular beauty influencer and mom of two was misdiagnosed several times with fibroids before receiving a stage 3 cancer diagnosis in July 2023.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published March 21, 2024

Beauty, fashion and mom vlogger Jessica Pettway has died of cervical cancer at 36 years old.

Her sister Reyni announced the news on Instagram, per E! Online. “It’s my birthday today, and the only thing I could ever wish for is for God to bring you back on this earth. I lost my beautiful big sister 2 days ago, and my heart has never felt pain like this,” wrote Reyni underneath a photo of the two of them. Reyni remembered her sister as “amazing, strong, confident” and someone “with so much wisdom, prayed for me, and helped me become a better mother.”

Pettway shared daughters, 10-year-old Kailee and 3-year-old Zoi Lee, with her husband Michael, of 12 years. The mom of two made headlines last year when she opened up about multiple uterine fibroids misdiagnoses between July 2022 and January 2023 that eventually led to a stage 3 cervical cancer diagnosis in July 2023.

“On Feb. 8th, 2023, he performed an outpatient biopsy on me. 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,” Pettway wrote in a post describing her medical journey.

“I remember hearing that and immediately saying to myself, ‘I refuse to make an agreement with that diagnosis.’ And so I didn’t. Being told I have cancer didn’t devastate me. It was the reaction of those close to me,” she continued.

Many people in the comments were quick to call out the “brokenness” of a medical system that continues to neglect, misdiagnose or ignore the concerns of Black women. “No one did imaging, or pap smear for those initial visits/concerns. I just want to cry so hard for this as a black woman myself,” wrote one commenter. “The medical establishment needs an entire overhaul. This cookie cutter care they often give BW is killing us,” added another. “This is absolutely horrific. A preventable death of such a beautiful person,” wrote another.

Despite her grim diagnosis, Pettway remained positive, posting about how her family was weather her illness in August 2023. “Anytime you’re dealing with an illness, it not only affects you, but it also changes the lives of those closest to you. This year rocked our world. From the countless hospital stays. To the financial strain. We been through it all,” she wrote.

As she went on to describe the hurt of seeing her daughters worry about her to her husband helping her through her sickness, she rounded out her story, grateful for her family, unconditional love and her faith.

“This photo makes me smile, because I can see the individual happiness on each of our faces,” she captioned the photo of her family of four. “So many new changes are happening in my life, and it’s kind of scary. But I prayed for it and as long as I follow God and hold on to my family, the blessing we’ve been waiting for, will blow our minds!”

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