After losing her leg to cancer as a teen, the trailblazing model became an advocate for inclusivity in the fashion industry and displayed her prosthetic leg on the runway.
As part of Black History Month, Google Doodle on Wednesday is celebrating Haitian American model Mama Cax and her contribution to inclusivity in the fashion industry.
Cax was an influential model and cancer survivor who advocated for the rights of people with disabilities. An amputee as a teenager, Cax wasn't shy about displaying her prosthetic leg on the runway and photo shoots, often decorating it with colorful designs.
The Google Doodle spotlights many key elements in her life. It also highlights Black History Month, a time dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements, culture and voices of Black Americans, as well as their contribution to shaping American society and history.
Born Cacsmy Brutus on Nov. 20, 1989, in Brooklyn, New York, Cax spent much of her childhood in Haiti. At the age of 14, she was diagnosed with bone and lung cancer and was given three weeks to live. When a hip replacement failed, it was decided that her right leg and part of her hip should be amputated.
After struggling with the initial shock of losing part of her body, she became an outspoken advocate for the body positivity movement, inspiring hundreds of thousands of followers on the internet with her writings on travel, food, lifestyle and beauty.
Cax went on to model in campaigns with fashion brands such as Sephora, Tommy Hilfiger and Olay, always advocating for more disabled models and women of color.
Cax died in 2019 at the age of 30 after suffering severe abdominal pains and blood clots in her lung.
The first celebration of what would become Black History Month was suggested in 1926 by American historian Carter G. Woodson, who created "Negro History Week" to encourage the teaching of Black history in schools. The celebration eventually expanded to a month and spread across the US before President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976.