Two weeks after Angelina Jolie wrote about her decision to have a double mastectomy in an op-ed in the New York Times, the actress’ aunt died of breast cancer.
Debbie Martin, the younger sister of Jolie’s mother, died at age 61 at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, near San Diego.
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Jolie made her first public appearance alongside fiancé Brad Pitt at the premiere of his movie “World War Z.”
“I’m here for Brad, I’m so proud of him,” she told reporters at the premiere.
It turns out, Jolie had to miss her aunt’s funeral to attend the premiere in London.
Her uncle, Ron Martin, told E! News that he and his wife were proud of Jolie’s decision to have the surgery, to “keep her family from having to go through what we’ve been through.”
Martin had the same defective BRCA1 gene as Jolie. Jolie’s mother also died of breast cancer in 2007 at age 56.
In the New York Times op-ed Jolie explained that she discovered she had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. After her surgery, Jolie said the risk dropped to less than five percent.