Blogger Eva Markvoort Dies of Cystic Fibrosis, Nominated for Award
Eva Markvoort may not have been known to you before, but she is sure making an impact today. The former Canadian beauty queen and active blogger died of cystic fibrosis on March 27, 2010, but a documentary about her powerful will to live has been nominated for a Banff World Television Award.
Cystic fibrosis is an incurable, inherited disease that causes a thick, sticky mucus to accumulate in the lungs and digestive tract. Because there are more than 1,000 mutations of the CF gene, symptoms differ from person to person, but often include coughing and congestion, fatigue, delayed growth and weight gain, salty tasting skin, severe constipation, nausea and loss of appetite. Recurrent pneumonia is also common.
About 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year. The disease is most common among Caucasians with Northern or Central European descent. Today, the average life span for people with CF who live to adulthood is approximately 35 years, a dramatic increase over the last three decades.
Eva Markvoort blogged for four years about her disease and videotaped the last few days of her life. Propped in a hospital bed with family by her side, she said with a weak smile, "Hello to the world at large. To my blog, to my friends, to everyone. I have some news today. It's kinda tough to hear, but I can say it with a smile. My life is ending."
She was just 25 years old.
Markvoot originally started the blog “65 Red Roses” because hospitalized patients with cystic fibrosis are often isolated because of infection. Because “cystic fibrosis” is hard to say for children, many, including Eva, call it “65 Roses”. The “Red” comes from her favorite color – even her hair was a brilliant shade of red.
The documentary by the same name, created by Force Four Entertainment and CBC, followed Eva through sickness, treatments, and even a double lung transplant, which her body eventually rejected. She was, and is, a champion for both cystic fibrosis awareness and organ donation.
Markvoort’s family plans to hold a memorial service that will also stream live through her blog at 1 p.m. Eastern Time this Friday. The Banff World Television Awards, where 65 Red Roses was nominated for best social and humanitarian documentary, will be given out on June 15.