• Tonya

"Well, well, well..." -Maleficent

Angelina Jolie #WomenWhoInspireWednesday –Tonya Peat

What do you think of when you hear the name Angelina Jolie? Do you think action star or mom of 6? Do you think humanitarian? Do you think “Oh she’s crazy”? To me she is all of those things but she is also someone who brought light to the breast cancer epidemic. She knew biologically she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer and she took action. In February 2013 Jolie under went a preventive double mastectomy. She was positive for the BRCA1 gene. Her mother had survived breast cancer only to die from ovarian cancer. Her aunt died of breast cancer only 3 months after Jolie’s surgery. Having had the surgery Angelina lowered her chances of developing breast cancer to under 5 percent. She has also had an oophorectomy to reduce her risk of developing ovarian cancer. Despite hormone replacement therapy she was put into premature menopause. Something I know a lot about. After my own journey with breast cancer I am on hormone therapy and am in chemically induced menopause. I was very open about my story and my cancer journey and believe that community is super important when going through something like cancer. Angelina has said:

"I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options."

—Jolie on her reasons for speaking out about her mastectomy

She also said that having the surgery didn’t make her feel like less of a woman, if anything it empowered her to make such a strong choice. I totally agree. I remember having someone who met me after I had my mastectomy and she asked me “How did you do with the amputation?” I instinctually took a mental inventory of my limbs, yup, all still there so I wasn’t sure what amputation she was referring to. In my eyes, I had cancer in my breast and the surgeon took it out and replaced it with an expander. I didn’t feel any less of a woman because the inside of my breast was now fake. I did tease a little that I now had a “Barbie boob” because of the fact that I didn’t have a nipple on the cancer side but that was remedied with a 3D tattoo a few months ago. I have always admired Angelina Jolie’s toughness and being adopted myself felt it was wonderful that she adopted her kids in addition to having some biologically. She’s an advocate and a filmmaker. My best Halloween costume of all time was of Maleficent. We are looking forward to what is next for Angelina Jolie.

When Angelina Jolie was young she was known for being a rebel. Now days she is as much known for her activism and for being a mother of 6 as she is for being one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. She is known for transforming herself and I for one can’t wait to see what is coming up next for the “Maleficent” star. Rumors of a Marvel project have already begun. She stands up for herself and others. That is why she is our #WomenWhoInspireWednesday, #Marvel, #BadassBossBabeClub, #HopeMovesMountains. #WomenSupportingWomen



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