Angelina Jolie's aunt loses battle with breast cancer
Angelina Jolie's aunt has lost her battle with breast cancer.
The 37-year-old actress' uncle, Ron Martin, told E! News that his wife Debbie Martin passed away on Sunday morning at age 61. Debbie was the youngest sister of Jolie's mother Marcheline Bertrand -- who died of ovarian cancer in 2007.
"Angelina has been in touch throughout the week and her brother Jamie has been with us, giving his support day by day," Ron told E! News. "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."
According to People magazine, Debbie was hospitalized on Wednesday, May 22 after she suffered a seizure. She passed away at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, Calif. on Sunday.
"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," he continued in the statement.
"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."
The unfortunate news comes a little more than a week following Jolie's announcement that she underwent a double mastectomy. The "Changeling" actress revealed the news in an op-ed published in the New York Times on May 14.
The Oscar-winning actress underwent nearly three months of medical procedures, from Feb.2 to Apr. 27, to have both her breasts removed and cosmetically restored. The double mastectomy came in response to the revelation that Jolie was a carrier of a 'faulty' gene, BRCA1, which increased her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
The procedure, which, according to Jolie, left only "small scars," decreased her risk of developing breast cancer from 87 percent to under 5 percent. She also wrote that she was "fortunate" to have her partner Brad Pitt for his support.
Pitt opened up and offered public support for his wife, telling London's Evening Standard: "Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus."