It's a sad day in Staten Island, New York, and in the hearts of "Mob Wives" fans everywhere. VH1 reality star Angela Raiola, known to most as Big Ang, has died after a nearly one-year battle with cancer. She was 55.
Her co-stars have been vocal in their support of her throughout her fight and even more so after her death early Thursday morning. Drita D'avanzo, Renee Graziano, Karen Gravano, and Carla Facciolo, all of whom have been on the show with Big Ang since it's premiere season in 2013, sent their condolences on Twitter. Drita tweeted a link to P. Diddy and Faith Evan's hit song "I'll Be Missing You," adding that she would hold Big Ang's friendship in her heart forever. She also posted a picture on Instagram of them laughing together at an undisclosed event. Similarly, castmate and longtime friend Renee, 47, tweeted that Big Ang would live on in her heart. Karen, 43, and Carla shared photos on Instagram of them alongside their deceased gal pal.
— Drita Davanzo (@DritaDavanzo) February 18, 2016
RIP ANGELA .. FOREVER IN MY ❤
— Renee Graziano (@reneegraziano) February 18, 2016
New "Mob Wives" cast members Brittany Fogarty, Melissa Jade and Natalie Guercio have not yet spoken on Big Ang's death.
Rookie "Mob Wives" star Natalie DiDonato took to Instagram to share a heartfelt post ahead of Big Ang's death, writing that it reminded her of her own grandfather's battle with cancer. Former co-stars Love Majewski and Ramona Rizzo used Twitter and Instagram to reminisce and send prayers to Big Ang and her family. Love wrote that she would be dreaming of the grandmother of six holding one of her youngest grand babies. Ramona also mentioned Big Ang's grandchildren, adding "#f---cancer" to her post.
— Love MajewskiVH1 (@LoveMajewski) February 18, 2016
— RaMona Rizzo (@RamonaRizzoVh1) February 18, 2016
As was previously reported, Big Ang appeared on "The Doctor Oz" show Tuesday to discuss her cancer diagnosis, as well as her split from husband Neil Murphy. During the show she told host Dr. Mehmet Oz that after her husband's failure to step up to the plate, she decided it was better to "be alone." With Neil out of the picture she was forced to look to other family members, namely her sister Janine Detore, to care for her in her stage 4 cancer battle.
On Feb. 3, Janine started a GoFundMe campaign in which she asked Big Ang's family, friends and fans to donate to her cause. As the New York Daily News reported, the page's description revealed that the "Mob Wives" star had been undergoing chemotherapy to treat her brain and lung cancer for some time with no results and was looking into a new option — cannabis oil. According to the page, the treatment can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 per month.
The reality TV star spoke publicly about her cancer, which she was first diagnosed with in March 2015, in September, telling People that it had prompted her to quit smoking. She told the publication that after smoking for 40 years of her life it was not easy, but she knew it was time. Big Ang's initial diagnosis was throat cancer. After undergoing two surgeries in 2015 to have a lemon-sized tumor removed Entertainment Weekly reported that doctors had found even more traces of the disease in her body.
TMZ reports that, according to a statement from her rep, Big Ang died at 3:01 am EST Thursday. She was surrounded by those she loved most.