Whang’s partner Jeff Vezain shared the news on Facebook Thursday, writing that “she confronted cancer with courage, humor, determination and optimism.”
“She was immensely encouraged by the love of her family, friends and those she had yet to meet,” he wrote. “Your kind, loving messages always lifted her spirits. I know she would prefer that her life be celebrated, as opposed to her passing mourned, but I know how vehemently she disagreed with anyone being told, ‘Don’t cry.’ So…cry if you will. I’ve been crying a LOT! And laughing…and everything in between. It’s all part of life, but laughter was a staple of our dynamic. Her audacious sense of humor blessed many, shocked a few, but allowed us to laugh in the face of adversity.”
Whang, who was diagnosed in 2006, kept her social media followers updated with her health throughout her cancer journey. In February, she posted a photo of her bare chest, revealing a large tumor sitting between her breasts. “Yep, that’s a photo of my chest,” she wrote. “I have 3 t-ts now, and the tumor is bigger than both of my other t-ts combined! Sheesh. I just wanted you to see what I’m dealing with. It’s much more aggressive than the cancer I had in 2011, so I’ve had to increase my dosage of targeted immunotherapy, which is quite costly.”
Before finding fame on “House Hunters,” which she hosted from 1999 to 2007, Whang also appeared in shows such as “Dexter,” “General Hospital,” and “Criminal Minds.” She studied psychology at Yale and Brown University.
HGTV released a statement following her passing: “Suzanne was warm, funny and kind with a distinctive voice that made everyone feel at home. Our HGTV family mourns her loss and wishes to express deepest condolences to her friends, fans and family who knew and loved her.”