First lady resigns from children’s cabinet following cancer diagnosis

TALAHASSEE, Fla. – First Lady Casey DeSantis has stepped down as chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet four days after she was announced she had breast cancer, the governor’s office said Friday.

Recently appointed State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo will take over as head of the panel, according to a press release issued by the office of Chief Executive Ron DeSantis.

Casey DeSantis, a former Jacksonville television personality, has played a prominent role in her husband’s administration, particularly in the areas of mental health and substance abuse.

“Her commitment to children is unparalleled and she has continued to foster collaboration between state and local partners to help families in our state,” DeSantis said of his wife in Friday’s release. “As a mother, she understands that Florida’s youth need our support, love and care and that we have all gotten better at her leadership over the past three years.”

Founded in 2007, the Children’s Cabinet is “charged with fostering and implementing collaboration, creativity, increased efficiency, information sharing and improved service delivery between and within government agencies and organizations,” according to Friday’s release.

The 2019 first lady instructed the panel to focus on youth suicide prevention, the release said.

The governor released a statement Monday about the first lady’s diagnosis, although the statement did not include details about such things as breast cancer type, stage or treatment.

Casey DeSantis, 41, is the mother of three children under the age of 5.

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