TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Just over a week after announcing his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about it publicly for the first time on Tuesday at a news conference in St. Pete Beach.
DeSantis said it wasn’t easy, but First Lady Casey DeSantis “is a very, very strong woman.”
“She fights. She’s tough,” DeSantis said. “I mean, she’s basically resigned, you know, better that she has to go through it than others who might not handle it very well. And that’s just, that’s why I love her. She is an exceptional person.”
Casey DeSantis, 41, is the mother of the couple’s three children, the youngest of whom was born after the governor took office in January 2019. After the announcement on October 4, she resigned as chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.
Gov. DeSantis said on Tuesday that despite the diagnosis that disrupts their lives, he is confident his wife will make it.
“I have faith. I have faith in the big man above, and I have faith in her. And I know this is a bad breakthrough, but she has a lot to live for, for the rest of her life and you know that we have a lot of kids to raise, and so it’s hard,” DeSantis said.
He said he hopes openness about her diagnosis will encourage others to go for their regular screenings — not just women.
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“It wasn’t like she was in much pain. I mean, these screenings and the things you do can be really life-saving, and so I’d like to encourage people, and not just women with breast cancer, but men who, you know, there are certain things that we’re more susceptible to — make sure you go in and do that when the doctors tell you to,” DeSantis said. “She just felt like she had to do it and I thank God she did.”
DeSantis said he knows they have a tough road ahead — one his own mother took when he was in grade school.
“It was a total blur for me. I mean, I remember it going on, but I don’t remember any details about what was even — I was just too young to appreciate it at the time,” DeSantis said of his own mother’s breast cancer battle, who she survived.
He said he hopes the young age of his own children will stop them from remembering much of what’s going on with their own mother right now.
“That’s something that hopefully won’t put any strain on them,” he said.
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