Angela Raiola, affectionately known as Big Ang, passed away at the age of 55 after a nearly year long battle with throat cancer, USA Today reports. The VH1 reality star, who was a pivotal figure on the hit show Mob Wives, died early Thursday morning (Feb. 18) in a New York City hospital.
A statement from her friends and family was posted on her Twitter account shortly after. “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,” the note reads. “She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and close friends. YOU, (Her fans) were some of the most special people in her world, and she loved you immensely.”
— Angela Raiola (@biggangVH1) February 18, 2016
After being diagnosed with throat cancer in March 2015, Raiola shared her story of going through the surgery and recovering for her family. In an episode of Dr. Oz, she said, “I look at my kids and my grandchildren and I know how much they need me.”
It was later discovered by her doctor that the cancer spread to her lungs and brain. She also shared an update on her health circumstance prior to this news on her Facebook page.