Big Ang, ‘Mob Wives’ Star, Dead at 55
After various misreports and confusion over the potential passing of Angela "Big Ang" Raiola late last night, it was officially confirmed that at around 3 a.m. this morning the beloved VH1 reality star passed away from Stage 4 brain and lung cancer.
A note posted by Raiola's family friend and NYC DJ Vinnie Medugno appeared on Big Ang's official Twitter early this morning, revealing that the star had "peacefully ended her battle with cancer." See the emotional note below:
The reality star was diagnosed with throat cancer in March 2015; the disease later spread to her lungs and brain. After a "lemon-sized" tumor was removed from her throat earlier last year, Raiola, confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that the cancer had returned to her throat by the end of last year. She appeared on an episode of Dr. Oz earlier this week to talk about the state of her health.
Two weeks ago, Ang's sister and family created a GoFundMe page, explaining that chemotherapy treatment was not working. The page was meant to fund pain relief. “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. I suggested cannabis oil as an alternative,” she wrote. “This is why I am putting up this go fund me to try to help my sister to get this oil to help her at least be pain free. Angela cannot function to work anymore. I’m not sure that it will work but I’m praying."
Late Wednesday night (February 17) confusion erupted online when various media reports claimed that Raiola had already passed away. An initial misreport by Entertainment Tonight was swiftly responded to by a "representative of Angela's personal social media," who wrote, "This is a representative of Angela's personal social media. The news that has been reported is TOTALLY INACCURATE. Please respect her family, and their privacy at this time. All of the media outlets currently reporting this are reporting FALSE INFORMATION. No direct information has been given, and will not be given any time soon. Angela is still in the hospital surrounded by her loved ones, and is fighting. Thank you."
Entertainment Tonight subsequently updated their original report with the following revision:
Though a source close to the family confirmed Angela Raiola's death to ET on Wednesday night, Mob Wives creator and Raiola's sister Jenn Graziano now says, "At this time that is a false rumor. I am here with the entire family and all her friends and they ask for your continued support and prayers. We will keep everyone updated.
Big Ang first made a name for herself and her Staten Island bar, the Drunken Monkey, on the second season of Mob Wives. She later had her own show (Big Ang) on VH1, as well as a spin-off called Miami Monkey.
She is survived by her two children, Raquel and Anthony Donfrio, and six grandchildren.
Our thoughts and condolences are with her friends, family and the Mob Wives community.
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