Neslican Tay, a 21-year-old known on social media for her fight against cancer, passed away late on Sept. 20 in a private hospital in Istanbul where she was being treated since Sept. 15.
A student at Istanbul’s Bahçeşehir University, Tay had won the war three times already. She inspired cancer patients and earned the love of millions with her social media videos and speeches. In 2018, Tay had her left leg amputated.
She was diagnosed with a type of tumor known as “malignant mesenchymal tumor with extensive involvement.”
“Due to the multiple organ failures that developed during her treatment at the intensive care unit, we lost her at 21.20 today [Friday]. We wish God’s mercy on her and patience to all who loved her,” said Gazi Yiğitbaşı, head of the Medipol Hospital in Istanbul.
İbrahim Kalın, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, conveyed his condolences on Twitter, and wrote: “You are gone but you left goodness, determination and hope.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tweeted: “Your struggle and resistance set an example to all of us, your joy of life gave hope to everyone.”
Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu, among with many Turkish celebrities, also conveyed their condolences to Tay.
“Your struggle, your hope and your beautiful smile will never be forgotten,” Turkish sports club Beşiktaş wrote on Twitter.
Aside from Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe clubs also offered their condolences on Twitter.
“We will remember our student Neslican Tay with her smiling face and the spirit of life that inspires everyone with her great struggle. May God make your place a paradise,” Bahçeşehir University said on Twitter.
Neslican Tay had become a social media icon sharing photos and videos about her battle against cancer. She had more than 800,000 followers. During the process, she had started university-level education at Bahçeşehir University’s psychology department. She was an inspiration for many and called herself “Iron woman” after her leg was amputated.
“Love your life. Love yourself. Love your body. Your soul will not be in another body. Love your hair, your height, your weight. And for me, love your left leg,’’ the Bahçeşehir University student famously said during a moving TedX talk she delivered in 2018.
Rize TOBB Science High School, from wich Neslican graduated, said in a statement they will officially apply to the Ministry of Education to rename the school after Neslican as her name represents resilience and determination.