News today that Angelina Jolie’s aunt, Debbie Martin, died at age 61. Usually the passing of a celebrity’s relative wouldn’t merit much discussion. But in light of Angelina’s recent reveal of a double mastectomy, her aunt’s death is the more poignant. Angelina’s mother died at age 56, in 2007. Her mother’s brother, Raleigh, died in 2009, of cancer. And now the last of the three siblings is dead of breast cancer.
In six years Angelina’s closest adult blood relatives have all passed away from cancer. Angelina’s mother’s side of her family is one generation after another of people not living into their 50s. It’s quite shocking and no doubt preys on her. I am impressed however that her Dutch-French family tree can be traced back pretty far into history. http://www.wargs.com/other/voight.html
It’s no wonder that she had the genetic testing and then took steps immediately to prevent the illness getting to her. We think of Angelina as having been around a long time. But she’s only 37, too young to lose so much of a family. It has to be devastating. What she’s done for her own kids, for herself, and her “husband” (as it were) is incredibly courageous– not the least because she’s considered a sex symbol. Condolences to her on the death of her aunt.