NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (UPI) — Angela Raiola, aka Mob Wives reality star Big Ang, died early Thursday morning after battling with aggressive throat and brain cancer. She was 55 years old.
The news was confirmed by the television personality’s friend, Vinnie Medugno, on Twitter shortly after her death.
“It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01AM Angela Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home,” Medugno wrote. “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 her world, and she loved you immensely.”
“Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the very end,” he continued. “She truly went out richer than any monetary value could ever amount to…In typical Big Ang fashion, we know she would say ‘Love you my babies!'”
Medugno went on to explain the celebrity’s Twitter page will remain open as a “celebration of who she was and will always be,” adding his gratitude to have represented Big Ang on social media.
“I try to stay positive,” she said. “I look at my kids and my grandchildren and know how much they need me. My daughter lives with me with her kids and her husband, so I’m very close to my grandchildren.”
Big Ang started chemotherapy for the last time in January and later switched over to another type of immunotherapy.
“Sometimes I feel I’m gonna be fine, and sometimes I just don’t think I am,” she told host Dr. Mehmet Oz. “I can’t make sense of this. One day I was perfectly fine, thinking I had strep throat, the next thing I know, I have stage 2 throat cancer.”
Speaking to the host, Big Ang also divulged she left her husband, Neil Murphy, because he “never stepped up to the plate, so I was done with it. Now, it’s too late, bye, I would rather be by myself.”
After the diagnosis, Big Ang’s sister, Janine Detore, launched a GoFundMe page that had since at the time raised over $44,000.
Big Ang is survived by Detore, her two children Raquel and Anthony Donfrio, and six grandchildren.