Proud and humbled by Angelina’s decision

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone
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Was there any woman not moved like me by the news actress Angelina Jolie had undergone a double mastectomy for the sake of her six children?

The glamourous film star was selfless in her determination they should avoid the anguish she suffered watching her own mother lose her battle with the disease by agreeing to the surgery after being told she carries a faulty gene that gave her a very high chance of developing breast cancer.

I honestly cannot imagine the emotional rollercoaster she must have gone through before making her agonising decision, but feel so proud and humbled she made it.

The supporting role her partner and soon to be husband, Brad Pitt, played during such a dreadful time is also something which has to be recognised. He is reported as being her “rock” during her greatest time of need, looking after their extended family at home while Angelina prepared for her treatment which will include some more gruelling procedures in the weeks ahead.

The woman has been remarkable and her attitude and positive thinking a powerful message to us all.

She admits candidly that witnessing her mother Marcheline Bertrand’s desperate six year battle against ovarian cancer profoundly affected her. After being told she had inherited the genetic flaw which had led to her mother’s death she made the unbelievably brave decision her children would be spared the angst she went through.

An article she has had published carries a clear message of encouragement to every woman who may face such a hellish health crisis in the future.

She writes: “We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and it would bring us closer together and it has. I wanted to write this to tell other women the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy, but it is one I am very happy that I made. I can tell my children they do not have to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”

I hope if that’s the choice, other women will bravely decide to do the same.