Debbie Martin died at age 61 at a hospital in Escondido, Calif., near San Diego on Sunday, according to E! News.
Debbie Martin was the younger sister of Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died of cancer at age 56. In a May 14 op-ed in The New York Times Jolie described her decision to to have both breasts removed and to undergo reconstructive surgery after tests found she had an exceedingly high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Ron Martin, Debbie’s husband, told the Associated Press that his wife had the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie does, but didn’t know it until after her 2004 cancer diagnosis.