Entertainment

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s great-grandchild dead of breast cancer at 31

The great-granddaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Desiree S. Anzalone, died Sept. 27 at 31 following a battle with breast cancer.

Anzalone, Ball and Arnaz’s first great-grandchild, had been receiving treatment at Smilow Cancer Center in Connecticut, according to People.

“Watching her slip away … I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” Anzalone’s mother Julia told the weekly. “No mother should have to watch that.”

“She was so beautiful, just so so beautiful inside and out,” Julia added. “She really, really reminded me a lot of my grandmother, more so than I.”

Desiree was the daughter of Julia Arnaz and Mario Anzalone, and her maternal grandfather, Desi Arnaz Jr., was the younger of “I Love Lucy” stars Desi Sr. and Ball. Desi Jr.’s birth was written into “I Love Lucy,” though CBS standards at the time mandated the word “pregnant” not be uttered on-air.

Desiree, who worked as a photographer, had battled breast cancer since the age of 25; it was initially diagnosed as stage 2. She elected to undergo a double mastectomy and subsequently went into remission, though two years ago, doctors determined that the cancer had returned, spread elsewhere in her body and progressed to stage 4.

Julia said that her daughter wanted to raise awareness about the illness during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Desiree wanted to put awareness out for if you feel anything, just because you’re a certain age doesn’t mean that it can’t happen to somebody … It’s just not talked about a lot. It’s usually people in their late 30s, 40s, 50s — not somebody at this age. So that was something that she really wanted — to help other women like her.”

Desiree is survived by multiple family members, along with her fiancé and caregiver, Chris Reynolds, who “never left her side” and “was there with us when she passed,” Julia said.

“I hope she comes to visit me from time to time,” Julia said. “Now she can travel all those places she wanted to see, but just come see me from time to time.”

This Post first appeared on “New York Post”

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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