Beverly McKee MSW, LCSW

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angelina and familyI’ve lost count of the number of people who have approached me in person and through social media about my opinion of Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. I’ve seen the banter back and forth, the criticism and the praise.

It seems like the whole world is suddenly taking about breast cancer and the excruciating decisions faced by women who live in fear of this ugly disease. I have mixed emotions about her decision to go public but the overriding feeling is one of empathy. Angelina Jolie has fame, fortune and the world’s sexiest husband. But rest assured, when she lays her head on her pillow at night, she faces the same demon that all of my fellow warriors face: she does not want to die from breast cancer. Once you have been touched by this disease, either through an invasion of your body or knowledge that you have the gene, your priorities change. Your bucket list includes beating this disease long enough to raise your children.

I appreciate Angelina’s courage to share her very personal story. It has forced the world to talk about breast cancer, which will impact one in eight women...a statistic that has been around for way too long. We are making advances, but they aren’t coming quickly enough. It’s time for a cure and a method of prevention, so that we no longer have to live in fear from a disease that steals our peace of mind, our body image and at times, our life.

Good luck to you, Angelina. I know the road to recovery after a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction is not an easy one. I hope you will continue to use your fame and fortune to push the issue and help those of us who have the disease find a cure.

Thanks for reading!

Beverly McKee, MSW, LCSW

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