Jakusz was just 25 years old when she was cast on Survivor: Palau in 2005. At the time, she was working as a bartender and an artist in New Orleans, La.
When she arrived to the game, she was targeted at the first tribal council after the Ulong tribe lost the immunity challenge. After that, she impressed her tribe by performing well in challenges, breaking down her tribe’s initial judgments of her colorful tattoos and bold piercings.
Despite successfully integrating with her tribe, Ulong’s losing streak continued, and Jakusz became the sixth person voted out of the game.
“We had heard from her family three years ago that she was battling cancer,” Palau castmate Coby Archa told People. “We raised some money for her treatments. She wasn’t into the fame, just the experience of Survivor. She came, she played, and she went back to her life in New Orleans. She liked her life that way.”
Jakusz is the second cast member from Survivor: Palau to pass away. Jenn Lyon died in 2010 following her battle with breast cancer. Archa posted a tribute photo on Instagram (below) of his two lost tribemates.
Jakusz is survived by her husband of nine years, Steven Calandra.