Sunday Burquest, a cherished Survivor contestant, has died of cancer aged 50.
Her daughter Kennedy Burquest announced the news on Sunday, writing in an Instagram post: “To my unbelievably beautiful mama, thank you. Thank you for fighting as hard as you did for as long as you did. Thank you for being a best friend, a role model, a sister, and my mother all in one.
“...It breaks my heart to know you will never get to see me on my wedding day, or be there when I have my first kid. But I know you’re watching over me. Although it hurts me so bad to watch you go, I’m so happy you are happy again.”
Burquest was a contestant on Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X, the programme’s 33rd season, which aired in 2016. At the time of her participation on the show, Burquest was a breast cancer survivor. In June 2020, she announced in an Instagram video that she had been diagnosed with esophageal and ovarian cancer.
The Survivor community shared tributes to Burquest after her death was announced, with host Jeff Probst writing: “Sunday Burquest had one of the brightest smiles of any person to ever play Survivor. She radiated kindness and understanding. 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.”
Martin Holmes, the owner of the fan site Inside Survivor, shared: “Sunday was a bright light, always full of kindness and positivity. If you needed help with anything, she was always there. This one hurts. Rest in peace Sunday.”
Coby Archa, a contestant on Survivor: Palau in 2005, wrote: “The Survivor family is very sad today. [Burquest] passed away today from her battle with cancer. Many Survivors had been doing ‘Step Out For Sunday’ on each Sunday of the week to pray and raise money for her battle. With her love of God and her humour... I am not surprised she decided to take her final step out ON a Sunday, making us smile even now.”
Anthony Robinson, a contestant on the 2006 Survivor: Fiji, tweeted: “Just learned that fellow Survivor alum and friend Sunday Burquest just Went Home... of course on a Sunday. I'm going to miss her bubbly, open, loving smile. Our strange little fraternity will be lessened by her absence.”