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Florida first lady Casey DeSantis expects to be ‘cancer-free’ in 2022, governor says

Florida’s first lady announced her breast cancer diagnosis in October.
Florida first lady Casey DeSantis speaks at an event.
Florida first lady Casey DeSantis speaks at an event. [ Times 2019 ]
Published Jan. 7|Updated Jan. 7

Florida first lady Casey DeSantis, who has breast cancer, is not “out of the woods” yet, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday, but he offered a hopeful prediction for 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 to applause at a news conference in Lake Butler, about 30 miles north of Gainesville.

DeSantis also talked about early discussions he had with his wife about how much information they should provide publicly about her fight. The governor’s office announced her diagnosis in October, and he occasionally provides updates when asked by reporters but has not gone into details.

“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,’” he said. “At the same time, you know, it’s a medical issue for the family, which it’s generally a private thing.”

Since the diagnosis, Casey DeSantis has stepped back somewhat from the public eye, though not completely. She has still made in-person appearances to champion her initiatives, including a December event at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa where she announced the governor was requesting $100 million for cancer research and care in his budget proposal.

On Friday, the governor also blasted critiques from some Democrats alleging he was absent during the omicron case surge in the final weeks of December.

DeSantis said he was accompanying his wife to receive treatment in Tampa. She has been undergoing chemotherapy, and DeSantis said he’s been there for every treatment.

“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. “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.”

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