Desiree Anzalone, the great-granddaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr., has died from breast cancer. She was just 31.
Desiree’s mother Julia Arnaz, one of Desi Arnaz Jr.’s two children, confirmed the news to People on Friday. While Desiree died “peacefully,” Julia told the magazine “watching her slip away was just, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. No mother should have to watch that.”
Desiree was 24 when she was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, and underwent chemotherapy and had a double mastectomy. Cancer returned to stage 4 in 2018, spreading to her liver, lungs, and bones.
Julia told the magazine that amid the coronavirus pandemic, they weren’t able to see much of her daughter in her final months.
“The COVID-19 kept us apart, so I wasn’t able to see her as much as I usually do because she was compromised and I didn’t want her getting sick in any kind of way,” Julia said. “So I wasn’t able to spend as much time with her as I normally do because of the COVID since March. I mean, I saw her, but not as much; we’d hang out every day practically she was here. Plus, she lived with me for a while.”
“She was so special. All our children are special, but this little girl was something else,” she also said. “We were [best friends]. We are still.”
According to her obituary, she loved the 60’s and 70’s music, as well as “art, songwriting, poetry, and playing the piano. She was a talented photographer and enjoyed playing guitar with her father, singing, and modeling photography Desiree was a lover of animals and people but most of all she loved life. She will be missed deeply by all but will live forever in our hearts.”