Barely two weeks after Angelina Jolie announced that she had a preventive double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer, People.com reports that Jolie's aunt, Debbie Martin, has lost her battle with the disease and passed away on Sunday. She was 61.
Martin was the sister of Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 after a seven-year battle with ovarian cancer. Martin was hospitalized on Wednesday, and her husband Ronald Martin says that while Jolie was not able to be with her aunt when she passed, she had seen Martin many times since her diagnosis, adding, "Angelina has been sending her wishes. She and my wife texted each other. It was difficult for my wife, during the last few months, to communicate."
Jolie is reportedly preparing to next have her ovaries surgically removed as a preventive measure, and Ronald tells People.com of her previous surgery, "Because of the BRCA gene in the maternal side of the family, Angelina did the smartest thing on earth. It takes a lot of courage to have your breasts removed."