Brad Pitt Proud of Angelina Jolie's 'Heroic' Decision to Go Public With Her Double Mastectomy
Brad Pitt truly supports Angelina Jolie every step of the way including her decision to undergo breast removal surgery to prevent cancer. Releasing his own statement to the Evening Standard, the "World War Z" actor hails his fiancee as "heroic" for making such a brave move.
"Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus," he says. "All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family."
Another thing that makes the "Ocean's Eleven" star adore the mother of his six children even more is her decision to share her story to public in hopes of empowering other women that have the same dilemma as her. "I'm quite emotional about it, of course," he explains his feeling to USA Today.
"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 also praises Jolie's commitment to her humanitarian works, including her trips to Congo for campaign against sexual violence in warzones, to London for the G-8 conference, and to New York to honor Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai. "This was during Stage 2 (when the double mastectomy was performed)," he says. "Literally it was just weeks after she'd had truly major surgery."
Explaining how his family was dealing with the recovery process, Pitt says he and the children "set up our own little post-op recovery that became pretty fun." He adds, "You make an adventure out of it."
It was "an emotional and beautifully inspiring few months," he sums up. "And I'll tell you, 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."
Outpouring support also comes from Pitt's mother Jane and Jolie's brother James Haven. "We're so very proud of Angie, this means so much to our family especially our grandchildren. We love her dearly," Jane tells PEOPLE. James sings similar tune, "My sister like our mother always put her children first. I am so grateful to be her brother."
Jolie's father Jon Voight couldn't be more proud of her as well, although he only found out about his daughter's surgery online. "My love and admiration for my daughter can't be explained in words," the father told New York Daily News. "I saw her two days ago with my son Jamie. We all got together for his birthday, with her and Brad [Pitt]. But I didn't know. It wasn't obvious at all."
"I found out [Tuesday] morning. I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she's handled this. She's a very extraordinary person, the way she examined it and what she shared," he adds. "I completely understand. I want the focus to be on the inspiration."
From outside the family, cancer survivor Sheryl Crow took to Twitter to applaud the "Salt" actress, "I commend Angelina Jolie for her courage and thoughtfulness in sharing her story. So brave!" Co-anchor of CNN's "Early Start", Zoraida Sambolin, was so inspired by Jolie's story that she told the story of a double mastectomy she had herself.
In a moving article titled "My medical Choice" on New York Times, Jolie revealed she decided to have a double mastectomy after finding out that she carried a "faulty" gene that sharply increased her risk of breast cancer up to 87% and ovarian cancer up to 50%.
"The decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent," she said. "I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer."
"It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that's it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can," she continued.
"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," she added.
She decided to go public with her story "because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer." She explained, "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."
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