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DeSantis says wife Casey has 'an awful lot to live for' as she undergoes breast cancer treatment

 Saying his wife "has a lot to live for" — including raising their three young children — Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an update on his wife Casey DeSantis, who is being treated for breast cancer.
Saying his wife "has a lot to live for" — including raising their three young children — Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an update on his wife Casey DeSantis, who is being treated for breast cancer.

Saying his wife "has a lot to live for" — including raising their three young children — Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an update Tuesday on his wife Casey DeSantis, who is being treated for breast cancer.

Speaking at a press conference in St. Pete Beach to discuss infrastructure improvements, DeSantis said his wife is undergoing treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

"She is a very, very strong woman," DeSantis said. "It's not an easy thing when it happens because your life is going, then all of a sudden, this is something that puts that in the balance."

"It's not been easy as we've had to deal with that as a family — particularly for her. She's basically come to the point of 'OK, this is what I'm gonna have to deal with.' "

DeSantis announced Casey DeSantis' breast cancer diagnosis last week.

While he didn't go into detail on her condition or specific treatment, he said Casey DeSantis "has been in and out" of getting treatment and is "like the healthiest person in the hospital."

The governor said his wife had a feeling she needed to go to the doctor, and the result highlights the importance of catching health problems early on.

"It wasn't like she was in a lot of pain," said DeSantis, who added that his mother is a breast cancer survivor after she was diagnosed when he was in elementary school. "These screenings and the things that you (undergo) can really, really be life-saving."

He said she is taking a step back on some of her public initiatives during the treatment.

Casey DeSantis, 41, has been involved in various initiatives around mental health and substance abuse, including Resiliency Florida, a partnership with professional sports organizations to raise awareness of mental health.

She also spearheaded an effort with the Florida Department of Education to make $2 million available to rural counties to increase access to telehealth, providing mental health services for schoolchildren.

DeSantis also credited Casey DeSantis with taking a positive approach to the diagnosis.

"Her view is, better me than somebody who may not be able to deal with it," DeSantis said. "Better me than God forbid other people that are close to her. That's just kind of her spirit.

"This is a bad break, but she's got an awful lot to live for, for the rest of her life."

WUSF staff writer Bailey LeFever contributed to this report.

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