The Survivor family has lost another castaway: Sunday Burquest, a contestant from the Millennials vs. Gen X season, died Sunday of esophageal and ovarian cancer. She was 50 years old.
Burquest, who was a pastor when she appeared on the competition series, announced her diagnosis last June, sharing that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and ovaries. Doctors had given her just months to live.
“No one knows how much time you have left,” Burquest told People last summer. “Accidents can happen. Miracles can happen. Someone healthy can die unexpectedly, and someone sick can live for much longer than expected. So I don’t think of this as a death sentence; I think of this as something that has happened, and is now a part of my life. And I’m going to live my life as fully as I can.”
Survivor host Jeff Probst shared kind words and memories of Burquest on Instagram writing, “Sunday Burquest had one of the brightest smiles of any person to ever play Survivor. She radiated kindness and understanding to anyone lucky enough to be in her presence. She seemed to understand better than most, that life is for living, so say yes to life whenever possible. My condolences go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.”
Zeke Smith, her fellow cast member from Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, also posted a touching tribute on Instagram: “I will love you and remember you for all my days, Darling Sunday. Your kindness and selflessness have changed me and so many others. I miss you. Pouring out a Diet Coke in your honor. #RestInPower”
In addition, podcast host Rob Cesternino (also of Survivor: The Amazon and All Stars fame) re-shared a clip from Burquest’s appearance on “Rob Has A Podcast” last year. On the episode, Burquest’s entire Millennials vs. Gen X cast surprised her via Zoom to show their support following her announcement.
Burquest previously fought breast cancer in 2012, undergoing multiple surgeries, in addition to chemotherapy and radiation. She was declared cancer-free by the time she got the chance to compete on Survivor in 2016.
Known for her social skills along with her relationships with the opposing millennial tribe, she lasted 35 days, landing in the jury in seventh place and ultimately voting for winner Adam Klein.
Burquest is survived by her husband, four children and two daughters-in-law.