Australian model Robyn Lawley revealed on Wednesday night that her father died in an emotional Instagram tribute.
The 29-year-old star posted a photo of herself as a young girl sitting on her dad’s lap with a heartfelt message following his passing.
“Because it’s a bittersweet symphony….that’s life… Dad I love you and already miss you so much, I’m glad I was by your side…..if I could even be as half as good as you I would be proud…,” Lawley wrote adding the hashtags “#f—kcancer #reallifehero #firefighter.”
Many fellow models and industry insiders shared their condolences in the comments.
“Oh no I’m so sorry babe!!!! Sending love,” model Candice Huffine wrote.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day commented, “Robyn, my heart breaks for you and your family. Sending you love and strength. I’m so very sorry.”
Lawley, who has modeled for the Sports Illustrated Swim Issue, has been a vocal advocate for body positivity and diversity in the fashion industry.
The model previously told PEOPLE that she doesn’t worry about her weight or measurements anymore and doesn’t even own a scale. She understands the pressures women feel to look good, and she’s hoping to teach her daughter, 4-year-old Ripley, that “strong is the new sexy.”
“When you have to lose a lot of weight for modeling, you’re not strong and you’re not healthy, it’s like the exact opposite,” she says. “So for me, I really want to make sure my daughter feels good and looks healthy and is happy with that.”
Lawley’s also been candid about her lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome and the scary accident when she fell down stairs after suffering from a seizure because of it. “There’s a reason I was public about my lupus and aps [antiphospholipid syndrome] diagnosis from the starts, a lifelong incurable (for now) condition I didn’t know what I or still am in for,” the model said.
“I unfortunately had a seizure on my staircase, I fell from over 7ft and landed on my face. I suppose it’s ironic that I’m a model, however I’m grateful I didn’t break my neck. I’ve managed to come full circle with that gratefulness, and luck. I could of had it holding my daughter for example, or I could be in a wheelchair, or not breathing at all,” Lawley continued. “With fashion week coming soon I wanted to acknowledge my new lighting bolt scar on my forehead (aka official wizard now) lip and chin. As the scars fade, apart of me wants nothing to do with them and a part of me wants to embrace them. They make us who we are. Plus wearing daily makeup to cover my face is something I do not do.”
Lawley also paid tribute to other people fighting the disease in hopes of comforting some of her fans who may be in similar situations.
“Life isn’t all rainbows. I’ve found strength the past few months following people who are brave to share their physical and emotional ongoing battles.”
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