What happened to Mama Cax’s leg? All about her amputation

Mama Cax

On 8th February 2023, Google honored Cacsmy Brutus, aka Mama Cax, via its Google Doodle. Cax was a beauty industry pioneer who modeled on her prosthetic leg, showing that people with disabilities belonged in the fashion industry. Google writes

“She [Cax] began posting regularly and advocating for inclusivity in fashion and using social media to discuss inclusivity in fashion and using social media to discuss her body insecurities. She officially broke into the fashion industry as a model in an advertising campaign in 2017 and was signed by Jag Models shortly after.”

Cax passed away in December 2019 after hospitalization for blood clots and severe abdominal pains. 

Cax lost her right leg after her body rejected a replacement hip

Cax was diagnosed with bone and lung cancer aged 14. She fought bravely, conquering the diseases. However, her hip was damaged beyond repair, necessitating a replacement hip. Cax rejected the hip, forcing surgeons to amputate her right leg. 

“I can still remember the very first time I woke up from surgery,” Cax told MSNBC. “I literally just broke down. And I think at that point I refused to look at my body for a good couple of weeks.”

Cax told the outlet that he was ashamed of her looks. She covered her prosthetic leg with long clothes or sought prosthetics that matched her skin tone – anything to avoid inquisitive stares. “I was mostly trying to hide my prosthetic – and to make other people feel comfortable around me,” she wrote on Glamour

After years of hiding, Cax decided to embrace her disability. She stopped hiding and collaborated with Alleles to make stylish covers for prosthetics. The move did wonders for her mental health and improved her relations with people. Cax wrote:

“And from that point, I started to feel a shift in attitude and in how I treated myself. People no longer saw someone who was trying to hide. They saw someone who had pride. The inappropriate and intrusive questions stopped.”

The move ignited Cax’s body positivity journey. She started wearing bold makeup and experimenting with different colors. Cax began blogging and posting social media content to inspire people with disabilities to take pride in their appearances. She told The New York Times:

“I didn’t see body appreciation being shown to people with disabilities or people with scars, so I started sharing my story on Instagram. I was sharing for women who don’t see themselves as beautiful and don’t see their bodies celebrated.”

Cax made an indelible impact on the fashion industry: she changed people’s perceptions of beauty, demonstrating that disabled people belonged on the most glamorous fashion shows and catwalks.  

“As a cancer survivor, she had grown accustomed to taking on life’s several challenges head on and successfully,” the statement announcing her death read.