Casey DeSantis, who in October told attendees of a political dinner in Florida that she would never give up in her fight to beat breast cancer, says she has completed her final chemotherapy treatment.
Her husband, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, discussed the milestone Thursday during a news conference, according to WJXT-TV.
“It’s, you know, it’s not the most fun thing to see someone go through, but, you know, at the end of the day, you know she’s fought really hard and we think she’s responded very well,” he said.
In a tweet Thursday, Casey DeSantis, 41, thanked her husband for “being by my side from the beginning, but especially yesterday as we celebrated my FINAL Chemo Treatment together. I’m grateful, very humbled and blessed.”
Thank you for being by my side from the beginning, but especially yesterday as we celebrated my FINAL Chemo Treatment together. I’m grateful, very humbled and blessed. pic.twitter.com/cl42YBb0fl
— Casey DeSantis (@FLCaseyDeSantis) January 20, 2022
Ron DeSantis praised his wife for clearing a big hurdle.
“I mean, she’s still got more stuff to do,” the governor said. “But that’s a big milestone because it’s nasty stuff, you know, when they’re doing that and so, I just wanted to let everyone know that, you know, she got through that. She ran that gauntlet,” he said, according to WJXT.
“She’s doing well, and we look forward to continue to have good news over the ensuing weeks and months,” he said, reflecting his past comments that he hopes his wife will be free of cancer by the end of this year.
“Our view is that 2022 will be the year where we can say that she is cancer-free, and that’ll be something that’ll be really important,” he said earlier this month, according to the Miami Herald.
He said he and his wife have tried to balance their public roles with their private lives.
“We’ve asked, talked amongst ourselves about, ‘OK, she’s a public figure and a lot of people care about her and a lot of people have been praying for her,’” the governor said. “At the same time, you know, it’s a medical issue for the family, which it’s generally a private thing.”
In late December, Ron DeSantis was attacked by Democrats for not being available for comment during a COVID-19 surge, but it later was revealed he was with his wife when the media was demanding a comment.
“A lot of these people, some in the media, but a lot of these politicians who, you know, are trying to get some traction, they were saying, ‘Oh, he’s out vacationing,’” he said, per the Herald. “It’s not easy to go through for her, and it’s certainly not fun to have to watch somebody have to go through that — to watch your spouse go through that.”
Casey DeSantis made a surprise appearance at the political dinner Oct. 16 in Brooksville and told those in attendance, “I’ll tell you one thing is for sure: I’m sure as hell not giving up,” according to WJXT.
“Never, ever, ever give up the fight, ever,” she said then. “I have only begun to fight.”
The fear of cancer diagnosis can be crippling, but early screenings can save your life. Please don’t be afraid; you’re not alone — get your screenings and tell your loved ones to go. Here’s how I found out about my cancer diagnosis. pic.twitter.com/RhghkmUIlr
— Casey DeSantis (@FLCaseyDeSantis) December 9, 2021
Oncologist Scot Ackerman, from the Ackerman Cancer Center in Jacksonville, said that having Casey go public with her battle helps inform women about the disease, according to WJXT.
“I think that with our first lady in Florida, Casey DeSantis, being public about this, is very good that she is. I think that many women who have been hesitant to get mammograms will now go out and get mammograms,” Ackerman said.
That was echoed by Susan Brown of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a national nonprofit that was established to lead the fight against breast cancer.
“I think the fact that Mrs. DeSantis has gone public with her diagnosis will demonstrate for one thing that younger women can have breast cancer, that they can share their story and that can inspire others to understand that they also may be at risk,” Brown said.
“Breast cancer in women under 45 is relatively rare. But about 9 percent of cases are under 45. We’re seeing more of that. If you look at numbers over the years, we’re seeing a little more, and part of is that women are getting diagnosed more, and that’s a good thing.”
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