Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that his wife, first lady Casey DeSantis, is now cancer free after undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
“I have a positive update about my wife Casey DeSantis. After going through both treatment and surgery for breast cancer, she is now considered cancer free,” DeSantis said in a video posted to social media. “All of you who have had thoughts and prayers that have been given to my family and my wife, thank you for doing that. It’s lifted her spirits and made a tremendous difference.”
“For all the women out there who are going through breast cancer right now – you can overcome this,” DeSantis continued. “I know it’s very difficult, but my wife is proof positive, and this is the exact type of news we had hoped for. She still has more to do, but I’m confident she’s going to make a full recovery. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.”
Excited to share this update about First Lady @FLCaseyDeSantis’ health: pic.twitter.com/HsMjWwPHIv
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 3, 2022
Casey DeSantis released a brief statement on the matter, saying, “There are no words to express how truly blessed, grateful and humbled I am to hear the words cancer free.”
“To those who are in the fight, know there is hope,” Casey DeSantis said. “Have faith and stay strong.”
There are no words to express how truly blessed, grateful and humbled I am to hear the words cancer free. To those who are in the fight, know there is hope. Have faith and stay strong. https://t.co/lAwy7w0Qb9
— Casey DeSantis (@FLCaseyDeSantis) March 3, 2022
The governor’s office highlighted four major initiatives that Casey DeSantis has led since Ron DeSantis was elected governor, including:
Most recently, First Lady DeSantis spearheaded Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, Economic Self-Sufficiency and Hope. Implemented through the Department of Children and Families, this initiative is uniting communities through ‘Care Navigators’ who guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity by focusing on collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, nonprofits and government entities – breaking down traditional community silos in an effort to maximize resources and uncover opportunities.
Beneficiaries of this initiative include, but are not limited to, single parents, Floridians on government assistance, mothers contending with substance abuse disorders, and children aging out of the foster care system. Any Floridian can learn more about connecting with a Pathway to Prosperity ‘Care Navigator’ by visiting HopeFlorida.com or by calling 850-300-HOPE.
In February of 2021, First Lady DeSantis launched the Resiliency Florida initiative – a partnership with professional sports teams and athletes – including Tom Brady, David Beckham, Peyton Manning, Lou Holtz, Tony Dungy, Urban Meyer, Crystal Thomas, Ali Marpet, Bryant McFadden, Mark Richt, Twan Russell, Corey Simon, Tra Thomas, Jonathan Vilma, Charlie Ward, Tyler Johnson, Joey Logano, Brandon Lowe, and Chris Mueller – to address the stigma surrounding mental health. These teams and athletes are lending their voices and personal stories of resilience and hope to empower Florida students to persevere through adversity.
As a part of this initiative, First Lady DeSantis is working with Volunteer Florida and the Florida Department of Education on the Hope Ambassadors program – a network of over 100 middle and high school clubs encouraging a campus culture of kindness and empathy through peer-to-peer mentoring and volunteerism.
Additionally, to support the Resiliency Florida initiative, First Lady DeSantis worked with the Department of Education to develop Character Education Standards to be taught in Florida’s K-12 schools. Passed unanimously by the State Board of Education in July of 2021, these are Florida’s first standards for Character Education, setting clear expectations for students and teachers and providing opportunities for students to learn how character contributes to the overall civic health of a society and understand the importance of resiliency, responsibility, and respect.
In December of 2019, First Lady DeSantis launched “The Facts. Your Future.” campaign – a public affairs partnership between the Office of the Attorney General, the Florida Department of Health, and the Florida Department of Education. This initiative empowers students with the facts surrounding substance abuse and how it negatively impacts their lives. A major announcement and new developments on this initiative are expected later this year.
First Lady DeSantis’ first major announcement was the Hope for Healing Florida initiative in May of 2019, which brought together stakeholders statewide to discuss new community-level solutions to address mental illness and substance abuse with emphasis on resources for children, veterans and first responders. The Hope for Healing website helps navigate the many ways Floridians can access available resources.