government Ron DeSantis opened up about his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis, sharing her experiences and recalling his mother’s cancer diagnosis with reporters.
The Governor’s Office announced the diagnosis of First Lady Casey DeSantis last week. The governor spoke publicly on Tuesday about what the diagnosis has meant for his young family.
After a deep exhalation, he said Casey is a strong woman, adding that it was not easy for her and her family to accept the diagnosis.
“I have faith in the big man upstairs, 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,” the governor said.
Casey, 41, an Emmy Award winning TV host. The DeSantises married in 2010 and have three children, Madison, Mason and mommy. Casey gave birth to Mamie in March 2020. Madison, the oldest, is 4.
“We have a lot of kids to raise, so it’s tough,” DeSantis said.
After DeSantis’s election in 2018, the First Family became the first since the 1970s to have young children when they moved to the Governor’s Mansion the following January. Mamie DeSantis was the first baby in decades to be born in the governor’s house.
Casey DeSantis, of Troy, Ohio, was a television host in Jacksonville before her husband entered politics. That included working for the PGA Tour as a producer and on-air host.
The governor also talked about his mother, who has survived cancer. He was in grade school, older than DeSantises’ kids are now when she was diagnosed. Still, he doesn’t remember many details.
“Our kids really have no idea what’s going on,” he said. “And in some ways that’s something that hopefully won’t put any strain on them.”
Casey DeSantis has been an advocate for mental health awareness, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, she unveiled a campaign to improve mental resilience in children who would later include humans, including Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneer Quarterback Tom Brady.
She has also spearheaded initiatives such as Hope for Healing, which she launched in May 2019 to tackle mental illness and substance abuse, with a focus on children, veterans and first responders.
However, she has started to distance herself from some initiatives. The Governor on Friday appointed general surgeon Dr. Joseph Ladapo as chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, replacing the First Lady.
“She has initiatives, some of these things she may not be able to do and in the near future she may pass the baton to me, but she will be back,” the governor said. “So she just wanted people to know a little bit about that.”
He also talked about how important it is that both men and women get cancer screening. His wife wasn’t in much pain, but felt she needed to be screened.
Casey is fighting and she is tough, he added.
“She’s actually stepped down in such a way that she has to get through it better than others who may not be handling it very well,” the governor said. ‘That’s why I love her. She is an exceptional person.”
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