The great-granddaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr, Desiree S. Anzalone has died after a battle with stage 4 breast cancer. She was 31.
Anzalone died on September 27th at Smilow Cancer Center in Connecticut, People magazine reported on Friday.
“She was so special. All our youngsters are special, but this tiny girl was something else,” Anzalone’s mother Julia Arnaz, 51, told the publication. “We were [best friends]. We are still.”
Anzalone was the daughter of Arnaz and Mario Anzalone ,and Julia’s only child. Arnaz described Anzalone as “my mini-me.”
“She was so beautiful, just so so beautiful inside and out,” Arnaz told the outlet. “She really, really really reminded me a great deal of my grandmother, more so than I.”
Arnaz told people that Anzalone went peacefully but watching her slip away was just, i would not wish it on my worst enemy. No mother should need to watch that.
“Her talent was prolific including her art, song writing, poetry and playing piano,” it reads. “She was a talented photographer and enjoyed playing guitar together with her father, singing and modeling photography.”
Anzalone was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at just 25, in line with People magazine.
Arnaz said that , “While Anzalone was a rare case, it does happen.”
People reported that she underwent chemotherapy and eventually decided to undergo a double mastectomy, adding further on that Anzelone was in remission before learning her cancer had returned – this time as stage 4.
“She probably would have been with us for many more years — it had been beginning to spread tons more, and therefore the tumors were getting bigger — but we expected her to remain at least through the vacations ,” Arnaz told the outlet.
“What went wrong is she kept getting fluid round her heart then they kept doing surgeries and it might come like two weeks later,” she continued.
“And this point , they did the surgery and came back 12 hours later and [said], ‘You’ve got days, if hours.’ so that was really tough.”
“I was there before that happened. it had been unimaginable.”
In Anzalone’s abbreviated life, Arnaz said she made it her mission to teach folks that breast cancer can strike anyone at any moment.
Anzalone wanted to spread awareness among young girls her age because this does happen.
“And Desiree wanted to place awareness out for if you are feeling anything, simply because you are a certain age doesn’t suggest that it can’t happen to somebody.”, Arnaz added
She added: “It’s just not talked about a lot. it’s always people in their late 30s, 40s, 50s — not somebody at this age. in order that was something that she really wanted — to assist other women like her. A preventative, really.”