I just sat in my kitchen reading Angelina Jolie’s article published today in the New York Times disclosing her recent preventative double mastectomy. Not in a long time have I read such an eloquent, heartfelt and touching article.
If you have not read the piece, here it is.
To the critics who claim she was too radical to remove both her breasts, to the critics who say that she should have kept it quiet, and to the critics who claim an unfairness for having the money to do the surgery (it’s thousands of dollars in the USA): I say you couldn’t be more wrong.
Kudos to Angelina for bringing genetic breast cancer into the spotlight. Kudos to Angelina for making a preventative and brave decision for the sake of her health and her children, and kudos to her for having kept her surgery private throughout and shared only when she was ready.
“For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.
I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.
Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.” – Angelina Jolie.
For me, Angelina Jolie demonstrates the epitome of a woman off the fence.