Angela Raiola, better known as Big Ang on the VH1 television show Mob Wives, lost her battle with stage 4 cancer and died at the age of 55, a family source confirmed.
Big Ang’s death was announced first on Twitter through a message posted “on behalf of the family” from Vinnie Medugno, who occasionally appeared on the reality show.
“I am saddened to say that at 3:01 a.m., Ang lost her battle with cancer,” said Jennifer Graziano, creator and executive producer of Mob Wives. “She passed peacefully surrounded by friends and family.”
The star was hospitalized after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung and brain cancer. Sources also say that the reality television show star’s health conditions were so deteriorating that her body was not responding to any treatment.
A GoFundMe campaign was also started to raise money required for the treatment. The campaign was started by Ang’s sister, Janine Detore, who detailed about Raiola’s cancer update.
“My sister was diagnosed with stage 4 brain and lung cancer. Chemotherapy was started January 5th. On January 26th the doctor reviewed her CT scan and informed us that the treatment was not working, and in fact one tumor grew larger and the other tumors had no change. We were advised that she would start immunotherapy the following week. Well here we are at the emergency room waiting to see why her breathing is labored and the amount of pain she is having is by far more than she could handle.”
Big Ang, who had been treated with cancer previously, had to undergo treatment and was still facing issues with her health. A sizable lump was found in her throat by doctors in March, and the tumor was removed in June. Big Ang called herself “lucky” as her cancer was stage 2 at that time.
“One day I was perfectly fine, thinking I had strep throat, the next thing I know I have stage II throat cancer,” she recalled.
Ang, who was known as a fair peacemaker in the VH1 reality show split with her husband Neil Murphy as she battled stage IV cancer. She revealed the break-up in an emotional interview on The Dr. Oz Show on Tuesday, February 16.
“I felt like he never stepped up to the plate, so I was done with it,” she told Dr. Mehmet Oz. “Now, it’s too late, bye, I would rather be by myself.”
“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.”
Big Ang was married to Murphy for six years and is survived by her sister, two kids, and six grandchildren.
“We’re a very tight family,” she said. “If my family wasn’t here to support me through all this, I don’t think I could do it.”
Thousands of fans around the world were posting messages and sending Big Ang wishes for a quick recovery on social media.
Big Ang was the “life” of the show, and she was a fan favorite who was often described as “electric.”
“She would feed the entire cast and crew,” Ms. Graziano said, adding that Ms. Raiola loved “any, any excuse for a party.”
[Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images]