Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s Great-Granddaughter Dies of Breast Cancer at Age 31

Desiree Anzalone/Instagram; Mondadori/Getty

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr.’s only great-granddaughter has died following a battle with stage 4 breast cancer. She was 31.

Desiree S. Anzalone died on Sept. 27 at Smilow Cancer Center in Connecticut, PEOPLE confirms.

Born Sept. 15, 1989 in Norwalk, Connecticut, Desiree was the daughter of Julia Arnaz and Mario Anzalone. Her maternal grandfather, Desi Arnaz Jr., was the son of late I love Lucy stars Desi Sr. and Ball. Desiree was the first great-grandchild of her famous grandparents.

Though her daughter died “peacefully,” Julia, 51, tells PEOPLE that “watching her slip away was just, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. No mother should have to watch that.”

“She was so special. All our children are special, but this little girl was something else,” she adds. “We were [best friends]. We are still,” Julia shares of her only child, who she calls “my

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