Unpolished's Martone Family Mourns the Loss of Big Mike
- Big Mike, dad to Unpolished stars Lexi and Bria Martone, passed away from cancer in May
- The family said the sudden illness came as a huge shock to them
- Ahead of the show’s season 2 premiere, the family gave an emotional interview discussing how the coped after losing their beloved dad
In an emotional interview with People, the Martones admitted that the shock of the rapid onset of Big Mike’s illness, coupled with the Covid pandemic affecting how often they could see him in his last moments, has been really difficult to cope with.Read More
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“A few months ago, Big Mike started not to feel well,” Jennifer said. “Wasn’t really sure what was going on with him — we thought it was his heart. We didn’t really know.”
“So, he went to the heart doctor and they did some blood work and immediately put him into the hospital. They did a couple of tests and they came back with the results that it was cancer.”
Big Mike was diagnosed with cancer in February, and passed away on May 9.
Bria and Lexi, who co-own the Long Island salon the show centers around, said that the Covid pandemic meant that they couldn’t spend much time with their father in the hospital.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to see our dad as much as we would have liked because of quarantine,” Lexi said.
Bria added that she’s choosing to remember her dad as he was before he got sick, as the family said “cancer took a toll on him.”
“I try not to remember him like that because it was awful,” she said.
The Toll of Cancer on the Family
A cancer diagnosis comes with stress, heartache and can really take a toll on the entire family. Sometimes, caregivers can get so caught up in trying to help a loved one that they neglect to take care of themselves.
Actor Patrick Dempsey spoke about the toll his mother’s cancer battle took on his entire family.
Actor Patrick Dempsey told SurvivorNet in a previous interview that caring for his mother, who passed away after a 17-year battle with ovarian cancer, affected his family in different ways.
“We went through all the ups and the downs and through the entire experience,” Dempsey said. “I’m not sure you ever really fully recover. With the re-occurrences, it was the hardest to stay optimistic.”
Dempsey went on to found The Dempsey Centers, which offers complementary services for cancer patients and for caregivers, such as group therapy.
Coping With Loss
Big Mike’s tragic passing came just a few months before Bria was set to get married. In an emotion post to Instagram in the days following her father’s death, she wrote about the heartbreak of not having her dad to walk her down to aisle.
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“Daddy, to everyone you were BIG MIKE but to me you were my dad, my hero, my problem solver, my provider, my protector, and the most loving, sweetest, most giving man out there and I can't even believe that [you’re] gone,” she wrote.
“It doesn't even feel real that [you’re] not with us anymore! There's nothing I wanted more than for you to be by my side on my wedding day to walk me down the aisle and give me away! I know that if you could you would have done everything in your power to hold on and push through to be there but I know you couldn't!”
In the new interview, Jennifer spoke about the shock of losing her husband so quickly.
“We were all really shocked how quickly he got sick,” she said. “He suffered terribly, but he’s in a better place.”