The news that Angelina Jolie’s aunt died just two weeks after her double mastectomy was released today. Jolie’s aunt Debbie Martin lost her battle with cancer, she was 61.
This heart wrenching news came weeks after Jolie had revealed that she’d tested positive for the “faulty” BRCA1 gene which prompted her to have the preventative mastectomy.
Debbie Martin was hospitalized on Wednesday after suffering a seizure according to her husband Ronald Martin. She died early Sunday morning at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, California, according to E! News.
Martin was the biological sister of Angelina’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand. Marcheline died after a prolonged seven-year battle with ovarian cancer in 2007. Debbie had marked the four-year anniversary of Bertrand’s passing with a tribute on the blog Marcheline Bertrand Remembered.
Debbie had written in her tribute that, “My heart hurts and I just have to learn to slowly walk with my wounds, step by step, with a hole in my heart, yet carrying cherished memories which keep me whole and holds me up day by day.”
The timing of this personal tragedy must be a tremendous strain on Angelina Jolie. Her aunt dying just two weeks after her double mastectomy must feel like a sad irony. An irony she could have done without.
While Jolie was not able to be with her aunt, she had seen Martin many times since her diagnosis, and both Jolie and her brother James Haven had been in contact throughout this past week to lend their support.
Debbie’s husband Ronald Martin spoke to E! News after his wife died. He said, “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.”
Martin went on to say, “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,” he added.
Ron Martin also told E! news that, “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.”
Ron Martin told E! News that his wife Debbie had died at 1:50 in the morning at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, California.
Angelina Jolie will be trying to deal with her aunt’s death which came just weeks after her own double mastectomy and she will no doubt be preparing herself for the operation to have her ovaries removed, while she still mourns the loss of her aunt. Debbie Martin is survived by her husband Ronald and their two sons, Chris and Cory. Details of funeral arrangements have not yet been released.
By Michael Smith