First Lady Casey DeSantis, wife of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, returned to her husband’s side on Monday with an appearance at The Villages in Central Florida, marking her first campaign appearance since being diagnosed with breast cancer last October. She was declared “cancer-free” on March 3.
In a statement released after the event, Mrs. DeSantis said, “After six rounds of chemotherapy, a surgery, six weeks of radiation, and most importantly, through God’s grace, I am elated while humbled to be back on the campaign trail fighting for America’s Governor.”
“I am forever grateful for the prayers from good folks across the country who thought and prayed for me and my family’s well-being, thank you. I pray my story has inspired people to stay strong and never give up hope,” she added. “I look forward to telling Florida’s story of success and why thousands of new residents are flocking to the Sunshine State in the name of Freedom.”
Even though she’s been off the campaign trail, the first lady has been busy promoting initiatives she cares about, including:
- Resiliency Florida initiative: a partnership with professional sports teams and athletes to address the stigma surrounding mental health.
- Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity: family-centered assistance reaching more than 25,000 Floridians, including single moms, those aging out of foster care, among others. The program helps achieve economic sufficiency through local, community-based partners, including the private sector, faith-based institutions, and nonprofit organizations.
- The Facts. Your Future.: a campaign designed to educate young Floridians about the life-altering effects of drug use and equip students with tools they need to make decisions about their health and future.
- The First Lady has also traveled the state to visit with cancer patients to promote the importance of early screening and to provide support to families affected by cancer. In honor of her work devoted to this issue, the Florida Legislature recently renamed the Florida Consortium of National Institute Centers Program the “Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program.”
“We are fortunate to have the best first lady in all fifty states,” Gov. DeSantis declared as he introduced his wife, who looked healthy and vibrant in a pink spring tea-length dress. “They said it was a DeSantis Day dinner, and I didn’t know if they meant me or her so I figured I would bring her along with me,” he quipped, prompting the crowd to erupt in applause.
“Well, governor, I don’t know if this sounds very first-lady-like, but damn, it feels good to be here!” she said.
“Let me say this: no matter what you’re going through in life, no matter how hard things seem like they are, no matter how hard it feels like you have to pick yourself off the ground, or you feel like your back is against the wall, fight. Fight like hell,” she told the audience. “Never, ever give up. Never ever back down. I am a testament that God is great, God is good, and hope is alive.”
“I’ll say this in closing, something that my dad says to me all the time ever since I was very little. He’d call me and say on the phone, ‘Casey, have faith and don’t let the bastards win.'”
“God bless you for your prayers,” said the first lady. “God bless our great governor of the state of Florida. God bless Florida and God bless the United States of America!”
“I told you she’s number one out of fifty!” the governor reiterated.
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) May 10, 2022