Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis was recently diagnosed with breast cancer on Oct. 4, four days after the start of breast cancer awareness month. Her husband and Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, shared the devastating news and has since received love and support from all, no matter the political party.
“I am saddened to report that Florida’s esteemed First Lady and my beloved wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. As the mother of three young children, Casey is the centerpiece of our family and has made an impact on the lives of countless Floridians through her initiatives as First Lady. As she faces the most difficult test of her life, she will not only have my unwavering support but the support of our entire family, as well as the prayers and well wishes from Floridians across our state. Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
Casey is an Ohio native and is a mother to three young children Madison, Mason and Mamie. Besides being a mother, she has also spearheaded many initiatives such as Hope Florida- A Pathway to Prosperity, Economic Self-Sufficiency and Hope, Resiliency Florida and “The Facts, Your Future” campaign. Before launching these initiatives, she was a producer and television host for the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour. Not many updates have been announced since the first statement released on her diagnosis, but many other high-profile Florida women have since spoken up. A retired Florida Supreme Court Justice, Barbara Pariente, when asked about the news, stated that it will be a difficult journey but to continue to do work for mental health, children and families with her initiative. Pariente ends the statement with a reminder “…to take care of yourself first.”
Former Jacksonville-area reporter Donna Deegan spoke on balancing the public eye with privacy throughout the journey. She shared that when she was first diagnosed, she did not want to become the “poster-child” for breast cancer, which was exactly what happened. However, she used that platform to create a foundation that deals with finding financial support for women with breast cancer, as well as a marathon with benefits towards breast cancer research.
Although the prominent responses to the news were positive reinforcement for the DeSantis family, others have taken negative turns. “My prayers go out to the families of the 50,000+ Floridians who have died from Covid because of Desantis. Sorry I’m not wasting them on his wife Casey Desantis,” said Twitter user @Justdrewisme. Democratic Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried did comment on the negative Tweets, saying that those who wish to reply to her previous Tweet showing her sympathy, should do so with empathy and support. Any sources directly from the DeSantis’ have yet to comment on the negative responses.
Additionally, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in American women besides skin cancers. A mammogram is a common way of testing for breast cancer without having any symptoms, and women should start testing at least by the age of 40. However, if one feels irregularities or has a history of breast cancer in their family, please seek medical attention to observe any changes and to begin testing at an earlier age. There are many resources available to do further research, such as cancer.org and breastcancer.org.
Support the breast cancer awareness platform and research possible volunteering opportunities or ways to get involved to support the movement. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, however, every day should be about supporting other fellow women who suffer from or who know someone who suffers from this devastating diagnosis.
Besides wearing pink, one can show support on Oct. 13 for National No Bra Day to advocate for breast cancer awareness.