Melanie Ham, YouTube Star, Dead at 36

Crafting YouTube personality Melanie Ham, who battled a rare form of cancer called epithelioid angiomyolipoma, passed away on Jan. 12 at the age of 36, her husband Robert shared on social media. He broke the news with a touching memorial for his wife, who created her popular YouTube channel in 2011, teaching millions about her passion for knitting and crocheting over the years. 

"It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness I share the news of the passing of my sweet, amazing, beautiful wife Melanie," he wrote on Instagram the day Melanie passed. "If you've been following our journey I'm sure you were, like us, hopeful she could defeat this insidious disease. Over the past few months things have been progressively getting worse and we're thankful that we made it to this point through the holidays and tried to make every moment count."

"We are short 9 days of our 16 year anniversary. 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," Robert continued, calling his wife a "warrior queen" in fighting her illness and praising her as someone who "loved passionately, created beautifully, provided abundantly" and was his "best friend."

"She was an extraordinary woman and God has another beautiful angel. She can now walk, and sing, and dance in a way her body did not allow over the last few months. She relied on her faith in Jesus all the way to the end and she will always be with me," Robert added. Sharing photos of Melanie throughout the years alongside the note, her husband asked fans to understand the "intent" of the last photo, which showed a very sick Melanie holding onto her beloved.

"Please understand the intent of the last one, it is very vulnerable, but am honored to be here with her on this journey," Robert wrote. "Peace and love to you all, hug those you love today, put up a toast of Bourbon (her favorite, that she hasn't partaken in during her journey) and say a prayer for my beautiful, strong children."

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In October, Melanie shared on her personal website that despite her latest tumor-removal surgery, the cancer had spread, requiring chemotherapy. "Only 5 weeks after surgery I had new symptoms and after a scan, we discovered that the cancer spread and had become very aggressive," she wrote. "We're just gonna keep fighting." A celebration of Melanie's life will be held on Jan. 29 in Valencia, California at Crossroads Community Church, according to her social media, and it will also be livestreamed.