Big Ang, star of Mob Wives, has died. Ang, real name Angela Raiola, passed away during the early hours of Thursday Feb 18, US Weekly reports. She was 55 years old. Big Ang was battling Stage 4 brain and lung cancer. Although there were rumors that Ang had died earlier this week, this time the news was confirmed via a message on her Twitter page.
Rest in peace, Big Ang. Your bravery was apparent even as you battled cancer. You will be sorely missed???? pic.twitter.com/Kayu4zm7VN
— RoyalSavage (@R0yalSavage) February 18, 2016
“It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01 a.m. Angela Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home,” the message, which was written by her friend Vinnie Medungo said. He goes on to say that she was surrounded by friends and family when she died.
“She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and closest friends. YOU, (Her fans) were some of the most special people in the world, and she loved you immensely.”
According to US Weekly, Big Ang was diagnosed with throat cancer last year. The tumor in her throat was removed and after two surgeries, she thought her health had improved. Unfortunately, Raiola was later diagnosed with Stage four lung and brain cancer.
— Angela Raiola (@biggangVH1) February 18, 2016
In an interview that aired on February 16, Ang reflected on how she found out that she had throat cancer.
“One day I was perfectly fine, thinking I had strep throat, the next thing I know I have stage II cancer,” Raiola told Dr. Oz. “It’s shocking what happened. First I thought I was cancer-free and I was gonna have a big celebration, have a party, and then a month later I [had] stage IV [cancer].”
Angela Raiola’s family, lead by her sister Janine Detore, recently set up a GoFundMe page in order to help her pay for her medical bills. The GoFundMe has 22,000 shares so far and has raised $45,000. Their original goal was $25,000.
“The amount of pain she is having is by far more than she could handle,” Detore wrote on the GoFundMe page. “This is why I am putting up this go fund me to try to help my sister to get this oil to help her at least be pain free. Angela cannot function to work anymore. I’m not sure that it will work but I’m praying
During her battle with cancer, Big Ang complained that her husband Neil Murphy was not entirely supportive of her, which lead to a breakdown in their relationship and an eventual split.
“I felt like he never stepped up to the plate, so I was done with it,” she told Dr. Oz at the time. “Now, it’s too late, bye, I would rather be by myself.”
It seemed like Ang was content to walking away from the relationship with Neil Murphy.
“I been taking care of everything since I been married to him. I don’t need it,” she continued. “So, I’d rather be alone. And I’ve, that’s what I did.”
During the Dr. Oz interview, Ang talked about how she felt the battle for her life was going.
“Sometimes I think I’m going to be fine,” she said, “and sometimes I don’t think I am.”
As E! Online reports, Big Ang has developed a loyal fanbase since she first appeared on Mob Wives. Due to her immense popularity and larger than life personality, she starred in two spin-off series and landed a role in Scary Movie 5.
Although she was just as prone to dramatics as her other Mob Wives co-stars, she seemed to have a deep bond with her family. One look at her social media pages reveals that. She also displayed a deep love for her fans.
“There are no greater words to describe the bond that sisters have,” Big Ang said on Facebook after she pulled through one of her surgeries. “My fans are the best, and I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.”
[Photo by Steve Mack/ Getty Images]