ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Less than two weeks after Angelina Jolie revealed she’d had a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer, her aunt died from the disease Sunday.
Debbie Martin died at age 61 at a hospital in Escondido, Calif., near San Diego, her husband, Ron Martin, told The Associated Press.
Debbie Martin was the younger sister of Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, whose own death from ovarian cancer in 2007 inspired the surgery that Jolie described in a May 14 op-ed in the New York Times.
According to her husband, Debbie Martin had the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie does, but didn’t know it until after her 2004 cancer diagnosis.
“Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did,” Ron Martin said in a phone interview.
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