Although Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy wasn’t easy, her partner Brad Pitt says the journey was “beautifully inspiring” for their entire family.
“I’m quite emotional about it, of course,” Pitt told USA Today on Tuesday.
“It’s been an emotional and beautifully inspiring few months,” he continued. “It’s such a wonderful relief to come through this and not have a spectre hanging over our heads. To know that that’s not going to be something that’s going to affect us. My most proudest thing is our family. This isn’t going to get that.”
Jolie, 37, made the decision to have the operation after discovering she is a carrier of BRCA1, a “faulty” gene that increases her risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer. Jolie’s mom, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer in January 2007.
“She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don’t think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results. But it was really important to her to share the story and that others would understand it doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In fact, it can be an empowering thing, and something that makes you stronger and us stronger,” Pitt said.
The couple even included their 6 children in Jolie’s recovery. “We set up our own little post-op recovery that became pretty fun,” added Pitt. “You make an adventure out of it.”
In her op-ed article for the New York Times, Jolie said the children were the driving force behind her decision. “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer,” she wrote.
“On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity,” the actress added.