Angelina Jolie shocked the world back in May when she announced she had a preventive double mastectomy. But there was one woman who knew her secret all along and was with the mom of six every step of the way.
The Oscar winner decided to undergo a double mastectomy earlier this year after genetic tests showed her to have a high risk of developing breast cancer. Her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer in 2007 at the age of 56.
In the piece, Funk says Jolie “waited to find the perfect timing in her personal and professional life, but I think most importantly in her soul,” to tell the world what she had done. “She is intensely private, but she calculated the moment when she would be ready to reveal something so personal.”
Funk says Jolie’s honesty about the surgery helped raise awareness and got people talking about breast cancer and the faulty gene, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that may cause it.
“When someone who is arguably the most beautiful woman in the world removes the part of her body that is symbolic of femininity and sexuality, you have to say, ‘Why would she do that?'” Funk tells the magazine.
But it was Jolie’s desire to help others that propelled her to share her secret. “She knew always that in her philanthropic core she couldn’t keep this a secret and be who she is,” says Funk. “She always knew.”