Florida Governor Ron DeSantis revealed on Monday that his wife, Casey DeSantis, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I am saddened to report that Florida’s esteemed First Lady and my beloved wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Ron DeSantis said. “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 have 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,” the governor added. “Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up.”
There was widespread support for Casey DeSantis, including from Florida Democrats, following the announcement.
Nikki Fried, who is running against DeSantis in Florida’s governor race, wrote: “Our hearts are with Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis and her family. We are all praying for you!”
“Sending my support and prayers to Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis, Governor DeSantis, and their entire family,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) wrote on Twitter. “We’re all in your corner.”
“Sending well wishes and prayers to my dear friend Casey DeSantis after learning this news,” Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) wrote on Twitter. “Please join me and Floridians across the state in lifting her up and supporting the DeSantis family during this difficult time.”
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) wrote, “Erika & I are saddened to hear of the breast cancer diagnosis of Florida’s First Lady, @FLCaseyDeSantis , & join the entire state & nation in praying for a victorious battle in the fight ahead. May God be with the DeSantis Family today & every day.”
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem wrote: “Bryon and I are sending our prayers to Casey and Ron DeSantis. I know @FLCaseyDeSantis is a fighter and has the strength to beat breast cancer.”
“My family and I will be praying for @FLCaseyDeSantis & every woman battling breast cancer!” Kayleigh McEnany wrote on Twitter. “Casey is a strong woman and an amazing mother. My heart is with her and her family!”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp wrote, “Team Kemp and our family are sending our prayers and support to @FLCaseyDeSantis, @RonDeSantisFL, and their family in the fight ahead!”
Casey DeSantis married Ron DeSantis in 2010, and the couple has three children, including an 18-month-old, a 3-year-old, and a 4-year-old.
Casey DeSantis has launched four major initiatives since her husband was elected governor of the state:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This story has been updated to include additional information.