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Angelina Jolie's aunt loses battle with breast cancer

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May 26, 2013 | 7:47pm EDT

Angelina Jolie's aunt died of breast cancer on Sunday (26May13), less than two weeks after the actress went public with her decision to undergo a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing the disease. Debbie Martin, the sister of the Salt star's late mother Marcheline Bertrand, passed away at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, California. Martin's husband Ron tells E! News, "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. "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." Jolie underwent the preventative surgery in February (13) after she tested positive for the "faulty" BRCA1 gene, which increases a woman's likelihood of contracting breast and ovarian cancer, and went public with news of her operation in an article for the New York Times on 14 May (13). Bertrand died in 2007 at the age of 56 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer.

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