Karen Valby
May 17, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Angelina Jolie, 37, in a stunningly frank and generous op-ed published in The New York Times on May 14, revealed that she had undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. Her aggressive move was born from the dire results of a BRCA1 gene test and from watching her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, succumb to cancer at age 56. Jolie acknowledged there are other options out there for women facing cancer, but her deeply personal essay is a righteous cri de coeur against the disease itself. ”My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent,” she wrote of the surgeries she completed earlier this year with partner Brad Pitt by her side (miraculously without being discovered by the tabloids). ”I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.” Brava to this woman’s enormous appetite for life, and to her bold decision to reclaim control of her future.

You May Like