Hollywood star Angelina Jolie made an emotional Instagram post on May 9 in which she advised women all across the world to take care of themselves ahead of what would have been her mother’s 73rd birthday (May 9). Angelina Jolie described her mother’s ten-year fight with breast and ovarian cancer in a heart-warming throwback photo she shared with her mother, Hollywood actress Marcheline Bertrand.
The Changeling actress posted a note on May 9 in honour of World Ovarian Cancer Day. She stated, “Tomorrow would have been my mother’s 73rd birthday. She passed away 15 years ago, after a long struggle with breast and ovarian cancer. In June, I will be a month away from the age when she was diagnosed. I have had preventive surgeries to try to lessen chances but I continue to have check-ups. My mom loved [Jimi] Hendrix. And would always sign her letters ‘Kiss the Sky’. It took on new meaning after she passed.” At the age of 56, Marcheline Bertrand passed away in 2007.
Encouraging women to prioritize their well-being, Angelina Jolie expressed, “Sending my love to those who have also lost loved ones and strength to those who are fighting at this very moment for their lives and the lives of those they love. And to other women, please take the time to look after yourself and go for your mammograms and blood tests or ultrasounds, particularly if you have a family history of cancer.”
Have a look at the post:
For context, the double mastectomy and procedures to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes that the Oscar winner underwent in 2013 are the preventive procedures she is referring to in her statement. In addition to losing her mother to cancer, Angelina Jolie also lost her grandmother and aunt.
Angelina Jolie shared her personal experiences with cancer to raise awareness in an essay for Time magazine, stating, “My mother battled cancer for almost a decade. While waiting in the hospital hallway for her body to be taken for cremation, her doctor told me about her promise to keep me informed about my medical options. Years later, a genetic test revealed that I carried the BRCA1 gene, which predisposes me to cancer. Unfortunately, the test results came too late for the other women in my family.”
Angelina Jolie explained her decision to undergo preventive surgeries, stating, “Given my estimated 87% risk of developing cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer, medical experts recommended preventive surgeries. Consequently, I had a double mastectomy, followed by the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes, which significantly reduced my chances of developing cancer, though not entirely eliminating the risk.” She further added that she hoped her choices would enable her to live longer.
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Previously married to Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie has six children with him.