Ana-Alecia Ayala, 'dancing and laughter' cancer patient, dies

A cancer patient who inspired millions by dancing on camera in her hospital ward has died from the disease, US media say.

Ana-Alecia Ayala died on Wednesday afternoon at a Dallas hospital surrounded by friends and family.

More than nine million people have watched Ms Ayala's most popular video on Facebook and Instagram.

Friends paid tribute on Facebook and said they had been deeply touched by her joy for life.

"Your pure friendship and jolly personality brought everyone together! I am in total shock and deep prayer simultaneously," said dance instructor Oluremi Sano.

In the upbeat video posted in October, Ms Ayala dances with "chemo buddy" Danielle Andrus while still connected to intravenous lines.

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The pair smile and laugh while performing the internet dance craze TZ Anthem.

"Who says cancer and chemo have to get you down? We'll have the last laugh!" Ms Ayala said on her Instagram page.

She said she wanted to show the world that "dancing and laughter" were the best medicine.

'Be silly'

Ms Ayala was diagnosed with a rare tumour in her uterus in December 2015. It later spread to her ovaries and the lining of her stomach.

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She was treated at the Baylor T Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

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Ms Ayala told local news channel KVUE at the time that she wanted to inspire others.

"I also want to encourage cancer patients' loved ones to step out of their comfort zones and be silly, have a dance party, be present in the moment and have a great time," she told the channel.

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