( 4UMF NEWS ) Big Ang Passes Away:
Larger-than-life reality TV star Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola died Thursday morning after a year-long battle with stage 4 brain and lung cancer.
Family and friends of the 55-year-old “Mob Wives” matriarch streamed into a local hospital to be by the Brooklyn-born bar owner’s side after she stopped receiving cancer treatments. A source said she was suffering from pneumonia.
Loved ones denied earlier reports of her death, but her Twitter account later confirmed that she died at 3:01 a.m.
“She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and closest friends,” a statement from her friend Vinnie Medugno said on the account.
A source told the Daily News earlier that she had been given last rites and that her family was holding vigil by her side late Wednesday.
Medugno thanked those who sent their prayers, and said that the television personality “truly went out richer than any monetary value could ever amount to.”
“YOU, (Her fans) were some of the most special people in her world, and she loved you immensely,” he said, adding that “In typical Big Ang fashion, we know she would say ‘Love you my babies!'”
He continued on Instagram and said, “You lived by your own mantra. I will love you, cherish you, and hold you in my heart wherever I go, and whatever I do.”
Raiola, the niece of a reputed captain of the Genovese crime family, was diagnosed last year with throat cancer and underwent several surgeries before being given the all clear.
The disease returned in December and had spread to her brain and lungs, according to reports.
“Sometimes I feel I’m gonna be fine, and sometimes I just don’t think I am,” Raiola said in a tearful interview on “The Dr. Oz Show” that aired Tuesday.
Raiola revealed that she had left her husband, Neil Murphy, and that she was given a 30% chance of survival. Murphy was seen at the hospital Wednesday night, but declined to comment.
Raiola, a lifelong smoker, underwent chemotherapy, but the treatment didn’t work, and she had begun immunotherapy, which uses the body’s immune system rather than chemicals to fight diseases.
Raiola told the Daily News last year that she stopped smoking immediately after her first cancer diagnosis last March.
Her doctors told her the disease was “positively” caused by smoking, she said, and she called for people to quit the habit or resist picking it up.
Raiola gave fans a look into her cancer battle on an episode of “Mob Wives,” which is in its final season, earlier this month.