"I felt like she gave me a voice and she gave me an opportunity that I wouldn't have had otherwise."
Following Angelina Jolie's New York Times op-ed in which she revealed she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy, CNN morning news anchor Zoraida Sambolin found the strength to also come forward with plans to have the same surgery.
"I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how tell you that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was leaving to have surgery," the 47-year-old host of "Early Start" wrote on her Facebook page. "And then..Angelina Jolie shares her story of a double mastectomy and gives me strength and an opening. #bravewoman."
Sambolin tells People magazine that she was diagnosed with breast cancer about three weeks ago and decided on a double mastectomy as the best course of treatment.
"I have two beautiful kids," she told the magazine. "I want to live for them. You would cut off any appendage to see them grow up."
"I didn't want anyone feeling sorry for me," t he CNN anchor continued. "I didn't want to be emotional wreck on air. I tried to figure out the best way. Then when I saw this, I thought, 'Wow, okay.' "
"This inspired me to talk," Sambolin says of Jolie's confession. "When we went into the story, it felt right to share it."
On Tuesday night, Sambolin appeared on "AC360" and told Anderson Cooper about her debate of whether or not to go public.
"I had some real struggles with the whole issue of femininity and sexuality and she [Jolie] talked about that," she explained to Cooper. "I felt like she gave me a voice and she gave me an opportunity that I wouldn't have had otherwise to actually begin this dialogue."
In her op-ed, Jolie wrote, " On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."
Watch Sambolin's video interview with Anderson Cooper — in which she reveals how she told her fiancé the news — here >
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