Cayman-connected US news anchor battling brain cancer dies at 27 | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Nine months after Jamaican-born Shatanya Clarke, a news anchor of NBC-affiliated KFDX-TV in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA, started a YouTube series sharing her road to recovery after a brain tumour diagnosis, she has died.

She was 27 years old.

One of her relatives in Jamaica told Loop News that the broadcast presenter and reporter died on April 14 after more than a year of treatment for brain cancer, specifically a myxoid mesenchymal tumour.

After her death, KFDX-TV aired a piece in which Clarke was remembered as a friend to the entire Wichita Falls community and the “light and inspiration” of the KFDX-TV newsroom. Clarke, who has family in the Cayman Islands, built up her experience in the media industry with a radio internship at Hurley’s Media in 2017 as a host on Irie 98.9, Cayman’s Riddim Station, Mondays to Saturdays between 11am and 3pm.

She was described by News Director Adam P Bradshaw as “a bigger-than-life spirit”.

“Her wit and personality could brighten anyone’s day. She had a passion for telling stories in a way that really hit home. To say our family and this community will miss her is the understatement of the year,” Bradshaw said.

Clarke left Jamaica for the US as a teenager. She joined the KFDX-TV team in August 2018 as a news reporter after graduating from Florida A&M University and moved into the anchor chair last year.

During her time in Wichita Falls, she created an annual fund-raiser for faith missions and gave her time and efforts to various organisations throughout the Texoma community, including the Junior League of Wichita Falls, Child Care Partners Board, and Booker T Washington Elementary School.

On her YouTube channel Shatanya’s Journey, she shared in the four-part series, Shatanya’s ‘Road to Recovery’, that she was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2020, at 25 years old.

In the four-part piece, the young woman talked about how she found out about her brain tumour, brain surgery, the recovery process, and how her life has changed. The final video was posted on July 13, 2021.

Clarke said the series was an opportunity for her to heal from the experience while also helping someone else who might come across her story.

She encouraged people to know their bodies and to always seek a second opinion when it comes to medical advice.

Clarke ended the finale of the series, which was dedicated to the late Dr Louis Provenza who she thanked for saving her life, with the following: “Please, I want to keep this conversation going. I wanna hear your stories. While this has been therapeutic for me, the truth is, I wanna be able to help someone, even if that meant I had to be vulnerable. So let’s talk about it.”

A candlelight vigil for Shatanya Clarke was held in Park Central Downtown Wichita Falls on Monday.