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letters | jolie opts for preventive surgery

Bemoan gaps in care for breast cancer, but don’t attack actress

I write in regard to Jennifer Graham’s May 20 op-ed “Hold up on the Jolie adoration.” What a vicious and gratuitous attack on a woman facing a life-threatening disease and a very difficult treatment decision.

Actress Angelina Jolie is excoriated because she is beautiful, famous, rich, and has a loyal husband. Graham reminds us that Jolie has a history of going to extremes, and suggests that her mastectomies can be equated to her getting tattooed — all for publicity.

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Graham correctly points out that poor women around the world do not have the medical options that Jolie has. This is an indictment of unequal world health resources and not a justification for attacking Jolie.

I was neither rich nor beautiful, and I had to face this difficult choice as a single mother of a young child. Fortunately, I had decent medical insurance. I made the same decision as Jolie, which I believe likely saved my life. My hope is that better treatment options will be available in the future for all women so that they do not have to face the same painful decision.

Marilyn Levin

Arlington

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