Epithelioid Angiomyolipoma Explained As Melanie Ham, Crafting YouTuber, Dies at 36

Melanie Ham, a popular YouTuber known for her home project and DIY tutorials, has died following a rare cancer diagnosis. She was 36 years of age.

In a post on her Instagram account published on January 12, her partner Robert wrote: "My family, our doctors, our nurses and especially Melanie fought until the end and did all we could do to avoid today, but that is not our path. Let me reassure all those rooting for us, Melanie fought like a warrior queen.

"She loved passionately, created beautifully, provided abundantly and was my best friend all the way to the end."

In a blog post in August 2020, Ham wrote that she had been diagnosed with epithelioid angiomyolipoma, a type of cancer which she described as "very very rare."

Ham wrote that epithelioid angiomyolipoma is in the sarcoma family of cancers—a type that begin in the bones and connective tissue of the body. There are more than 70 types of sarcoma, and treatment can vary.

Epithelioid angiomyolipoma is defined as a potentially malignant growth characterized by the spreading of cells called epithelioid cells.

Classic angiomyolipomas are defined as a type of benign kidney tumor, appearing in around 0.3 percent of the general population, according to a case report in the journal BMC Nephrology. However, the malignant type is described as very rare.

In her 2020 blog post Ham wrote that her doctor said "it was more likely we would win the lottery than have this type of cancer (yes please)" and that it "behaves differently than a typical cancer which is why it was so unpredictable."

She added that the COVID-19 pandemic had made the situation even more complicated to deal with.

In another blog post in October 2021, Ham described how she had gone through surgery and increasingly harsh chemotherapy treatment to fight the cancer, but it had continued to progress.

She passed away on January 12, according to an Instagram post on her account. A celebration of her life is due to be held in Valencia, California, on January 29.

Ham, who had more than 800,000 subscribers on YouTube, created videos including crochet guides, basket sewing and other tutorials on how to create homeware items.

In a report published on January 19, David Fredrickson, executive vice-president of the oncology business unit for drug firm AstraZeneca, wrote for the World Economic Forum that "the global cancer community needs to come together, reprioritise screenings and minimise setbacks to healthcare systems and society" amid the ongoing COVID crisis.

Vlogger
A stock photo shows a person—not Melanie Ham—vlogging. Ham was a popular YouTuber with over 800,000 subscribers. RossHelen/Getty