Miss Universe Jamaica 2014 finalist Zandrea Bailey dies after battling lupus

MANILA, Philippines – A former Miss Universe Jamaica finalist died after battling lupus.

Zandrea Bailey, who competed in the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant in 2014, was diagnosed with the condition in 2012. She died in a hospital in New York where she has been staying for a few weeks.

Miss Universe Jamaica 2014 Kaci Fennell, who won 4th runner-up in the pageant in Miami that year, took to Instagram to express her sadness over Zandrea's passing.

"Rest well sweet girl."

View this post on Instagram Rest well sweet girl A post shared by Kaci Fennell (@kacifen) on Jan 14, 2019 at 1:24pm PST

In an interview with Jamaica's The Gleaner, Jade McLaren, a friend of Zandrea, shared how her friend established a lupus foundation in honor of her mother who died of the same condition.

"She used the foundation to reach out to other girls who also suffered from lupus. Some she helped financially, others just emotionally," Jade shared. "She knew what they were going through, and she was able to help them by talking to them and letting them know they were not alone."

Lupus, according to the the Lupus Foundation of America "is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs)." The foundation said that around 5 million are affected with the condition, with 16,000 cases reported every year. – Rappler.com