MANHATTAN, NY—“Mob Wives” star Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola passed away on Thursday, February 18 after a battle with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 55. The reality star was surrounded by family and friends at a Manhattan hospital. The star was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2015 and had a tumor removed.
Vinnie Medguno released the following statement via the star’s Twitter page about the news: “It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01AM Angela Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home. She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and closet friends. YOU, (Her fans) were some of the most special people in her world, and she loved you immensely.
Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the very end. She truly went out richer than any monetary value could ever amount to. The family asks for privacy, and peace during this most difficult time. In typical Big Ang fashion, we know she would say “Love you my babies!” This page will remain open as a celebration of who she was and will always be. It has been my esteemed privilege, and honor to represent her in the highest regard via social media.”
Raiola learned that her cancer returned in her lung and spread to her brain in December. Her sister Janine Detore set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for her sister’s medical treatments and raised over $25,000 in two days, so far a total of $45,000. Ang started chemotherapy in January.
Janine wrote on the GoFundMe page: “Many of you know here as ‘Big Ang’ of Mob Wives, but we know her as Angela our sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin or just a friend. Angela is the 5th of 7 children mother of 2, grandmother of 6 and the friend of many…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.
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 it will work, but I’m praying. We all thank you in advance for your prayers & Kind wishes. Help Big Ang fight her BIGGEST BATTLE!”
Reports surfaced on Wednesday, February 17 that the star had passed away, but those reports were not true. The star is currently appearing in episodes of the final season of the VHL hit “Mob Wives” where she became a series regular in season 2. She also appeared on the spin-offs “Big Ang” and “Miami Monkey.” She recently appeared on the Dr. Oz show to talk about her cancer battle and discussed her impending split from her husband Neil Murphy which aired on February 16. Angela is the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, who was the head of the Genovese crime family in New York. Her uncle passed away in prison in 2009.
Her “Mob Wives” co-star and friend Drita Davanzo took to her Instagram page to write, “I will see you again one day my friend…I will miss every minute of until then. I love you. #RipAngela.” Her other co-star Renee Graziano wrote on her Instagram page “IIM GONNA MISS YOU YOU MADE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE GOD REST YOUR SOUL… AND TO EVERYON SRNDING CONDOLONCES THAN YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR LOVE.”
Angela Raiola is survived by her two children, Anthony ‘AJ” Donofrio, Raquel Donofrio and her six grandchildren.