Angelina Jolie's aunt dies of breast cancer just days after star's op-ed

May 26, 2013 (ESCONDIDO, Calif.)

Jolie's aunt Debbie Martin died at age 61 Sunday in a San Diego-area hospital, husband Ron Martin tells The Associated Press.

Debbie Martin was the younger sister of Jolie's mother Marcheline Bertrand, whose own death from cancer in 2007 inspired the surgery that Jolie described in a May 14 New York Times op-ed.

According to her husband, Debbie Martin had the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie does, but didn't know it until after her 2004 cancer diagnosis.

He says had his wife known in advance of her genetic risk, "she would have done exactly what Angelina did."

Martin's death was first reported by E! News.

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