Miss Universe Jamaica 2014 finalist Zandrea Bailey has died after a long battle with lupus. The 29-year-old Bailey died this morning in a New York hospital where she had been admitted for the past several weeks.
Karl Williams, one of the partners of Uzuri International, the Miss Universe Jamaica franchise holders, called Bailey “a remarkable young woman with a million-dollar smile”.
“I heard today and am deeply saddened at her death. She was an amazing young lady, really smart, and really likeable. Her cause during the pageant had been to raise awareness about lupus, and I really thought she would have pulled through,” Mr. Williams told Jamaica Today.
Bailey had been diagnosed with lupus in 2012. Then in 2014, Bailey lost her mother to lupus and that same year, she emerged as a finalist in the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant.
“I had met her two years before she entered the contest and I had encouraged her to enter, then she had called me back the following year saying that she felt ill and said, ‘Karl I can’t do it now’. Then she returned the following year, she had gained a lot of weight, but she came to the pageant and worked it off and was one of our standout contestants, placing in the top ten; she really used the platform to raise awareness of the disease. She was a crowd favourite because of her natural hair, her beautiful dark skin and her million-dollar smile. After the pageant we kept in touch, she was really close to Kaci Fennell who is torn up about it. Zandrea will be sadly missed,” Mr. Williams said.
Karl Williams and Mark McDermott are the partners of Uzuri International.
By: Claude Mills