Angelina Jolie rarely opens up about her private life, but in this case the actress has decided to come totally clean about a procedure she has undergone that had potentially saved her life. In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, the Hollywood actress reveals that she had a double mastectomy after finding out that she had the gene BRCA1 which increased her chances of getting breast cancer.
I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.
She also writes about how she chose to have the procedure done so her children would never fear that they would one day lose their “mommy”:
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
Angelina also further writes that she wants to reach out and let other women who share her experience know they have options and to speak with medical experts to help make informed choices. Gosh, could this woman be any more of a Saint? Kudos to Angelina for being so honest and for also encouraging other women to get checked. She is truly very brave and very inspiring as not only a public figure, but as a mother, too. This definitely makes me see her as a human, woman and a mother first, and as a celebrity last.
Photos via PacificCoastNews.com