Staten Island, New York, staple, Big Ang, born Angela Raiola, is in for a long, difficult battle after being diagnosed with stage four brain and lung cancer. The "Mob Wives" star's tumors are not responding to traditional treatment methods, so she's taking the road less traveled — turning to marijuana.
Big Ang's sister, Janine Detore, broke the news about the reality star's latest diagnosis via GoFundMe, according to a report from the New York Daily News. Detore started the page in an effort to raise funds for Big Ang, 55, to be able to purchase cannabis oil, as chemotherapy — which she started Jan. 5 — is not working for her. The oil, which is used by some cancer patients as an alternative treatment, can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 per month.
"As you know my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 brain and lung cancer. Chemotherapy was started January 5 th. On January 26th the doctor reviewed her CT scan and informed us that the treatment was not working, and in fact one tumor grew larger and the other tumors had no change," Detore wrote. "We were advised that she would start immunotherapy the following week. Well 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. So I suggested cannabis oil as an alternative. 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 ."
This is not the first challenge Big Ang has faced with her health. On Dec. 14, it was reported that her throat cancer, which she was diagnosed with in March 2015, had returned. Entertainment Tonight reported that the "Mob Wives" star got the news just months after undergoing two serious surgeries to have a lemon-sized throat tumor removed. The publication reported that Big Ang's battle with cancer would likely be featured on the VH1 reality show's sixth and final season, though nothing was confirmed.
Big Ang opened up about her diagnosis in September, telling People magazine that she quit smoking immediately after being diagnosed. She shared with the publication that it was difficult to give up the vice, which she'd had for a whopping 40 years, but "it's over." The New York native also discussed her throat surgery, admitting to People that if she'd known how difficult it would be to recover after the procedure she would have opted for chemotherapy from the get go.