Yolanda Hadid said goodbye to her longtime friend, Ellie O'Connell, who passed away after a battle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), in a post published on Instagram Wednesday.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills mom shared the news of Ellie's passing in the caption to an ethereal photo of the pair enjoying nature. "R.I.P and fly with the Angels my love @ellieod," Yolanda wrote. "Thank you for 16 great years and showing me the meaning of true and loyal friendship until your last breath. You are my hero and will live in my heart forever...... #AlsWarrior #MyBestFriend."
A few days earlier, Yolanda posted another photo on Instagram of herself embracing her friend and praising the strength she has shown throughout her battle with ALS. "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; I love you my beautiful angel @ellieod," she wrote in a post last Friday. "You are my hero, my best friend and a shining light to all battling #ALS #Girlfriends #Blessings #Life."
Yolanda often mentioned how much Ellie inspired her in her RHOBH blog on Bravotv.com, especially during her battle with Lyme disease. In one post from December 2014, she explained why she decided to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Season 5 of RHOBH (clip above). "I have slowly watched her lose the use of every single muscle in her body, being left paralyzed, dependent on others, while her precious spirit and perfectly brilliant brain is trapped inside. She is my hero. She taught me that you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have left," Yolanda wrote. "I turn to her on the days I feel sorry for myself. I'm battling this crazy Lyme disease, but she puts it all in perspective real fast. She gives me strength and is the person that defines a true friend to me. I love the quote, 'Best friends are people who make your problems their problems just so you dont have to go through them alone!'"
Yolanda's daughter Bella Hadid also remembered Ellie with a lovely photo and message on Instagram Wednesday. "Rest in peace my beautiful Ellie," Bella captioned a pic of Ellie and her mom. "This is how I will always remember you. Thank you for being the best friend to my mom and the best god mother to me. The wittiest, funniest, most incredible soul in the world until the last moments. You have taught me what it really is to be strong. I miss you ..fly with the angels."
Yolanda has continued to stay positive when it comes to her own health struggles. The RHOBH mom updated fans about her ongoing battle with Lyme disease through a photo of herself in a hospital bed posted on Instagram last week. "I am seeking, I am striving and I am in it to win it with all of my heart............#LymeDiseaseAwareness #TvamSurgery #LastChapter #SearchingForACure #RemissionInSight," she wrote.
Learn more about Yolanda's healthy eating routine, below.