UPDATE: 2:10 p.m. PDT — Angela Jolie‘s uncle has confirmed his wife, Debbie Martin, passed away Sunday morning at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, Calif. at around 1:50 a.m.
Debbie was the younger sister of Jolie’s mother, who died of the ovarian cancer in 2007.
“Angelina has been in touch throughout the week and her brother Jamie has been with us, giving his support day by day,” Ron Martin told E!.
“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.”
“She had a seizure and we took her into the hospital. They have turned off the life-support and her family is all here holding her hand. This is the love of my life,” Debbie’s husband, Ronald Martin told the UK’s Sunday People.
“She’s in a coma. It’s breast cancer but I think it spread everywhere,” Debbie’s brother-in-law Rick Martin added.
Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy earlier this year was spurned by her family’s history of cancer and the fact that she carries the BRCA1 gene that greatly increased her chances of developing cancer.
Jolie, 37, is now planning to have her ovaries removed in the next two years.
“There is no longevity on my mother’s side. My grandmother also died young so my mother always thought it could happen to her,” Angelina said when announcing she’d undergone surgery.
Her aunt Debbie — who also carried the BRCA1 gene — was the “unsung hero” in Angelina’s decision to have preventive surgery, a family friend said.
“Angelina was very close to Deb and she did everything she could do to help her. Deb was very supportive of Angelina’s decision to have preventative surgery,” the friend said.