We can't even imagine how devastating this must be for her entire family.
While Angelina Jolie recently made the courageous decision to announce that she had a double mastectomy earlier in the year, in hopes to prevent the high chance of breast cancer she and her family members have due to a genetically passed-on BRCA1 gene mutation, we're very sad to report that the “unsung hero” in the actress' brave actions, her aunt Debbie Martin, passed away today after slipping into a coma.
As we've reported, the 61-year-old, who is Angelina's mother's sister, also carried the BRCA1 gene, and attempted to avoid the fate of countless family members by having an operation on her ovaries, still ended up developing breast cancer…and last night, suffered a seizure and was taken off life support at the hospital.
Her husband, Ronald Martin, says:
"Angelina has been in touch throughout the week and her brother Jamie has been with us, giving his support day by day. They both loved Debbie very much and although Angie is not able to come right now she has sent her love and support which was very nice. We have seen Angelina a number of times since Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer and Debbie and I were both very proud of her recent decision to have the double mastectomy and to do everything she can to keep her family from having to go through what we've been through. Angelina's father Jon Voight has also been tremendously supportive–he came down to see Debbie last Sunday and spent the whole day, talking with her and sharing his love and I know Debbie really enjoyed seeing him and talking with him."
And as a family friend points out:
“Angelina was very close to Deb and she did everything she could do to help her. Deb was very supportive of Angelina’s decision to have preventative surgery. If she had known before what she found out too late, she would have had a double mastectomy as well.”
Such an unbelievable tragedy. She sounds like a wonderful woman who will be very dearly missed.
Please ch-ch-check out Debbie's story again (above)!
We just hope that by making the suffering that she and her family have endured for generations public, Angie will continue to raise awareness and prevent women and families like her own from meeting similar fates.
You're in our prayers, Debbie. May you R.I.P.
Tags: a coma, angelina jolie, aunt debbie, brca 1 gene, brother in law, debbie martin, double mastectomy, gene mutation, hospitalized, husband, preventative, r.i.p., rick martin, ronald martin, seizure, stage four breast cancer, stay strong