TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis has breast cancer.
Gov. Ron DeSantis' office announced the diagnosis Monday, calling his wife a "true fighter."
"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," the governor wrote in a statement. "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."
Gov. DeSantis said Casey would "never, never, never give up.”
Casey DeSantis, a former Emmy-winning television personality in Jacksonville, has taken an active role in her husband's administration. She spearheaded Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, a Department of Children and Families initiative that focused on fostering collaborations between the state, religious organizations and the private sector to help Floridians find "prosperity."
"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," the state's website explains.
Kids and education have been cornerstones of Casey DeSantis' efforts in Tallahassee. She has worked with the attorney general's office, as well as the state health and education departments, to educate young people about substance abuse.
Mental health has also been a focal point, with the first lady working to bolster resources and education for first responders, veterans and kids.
Back in February, the first lady launched a separate initiative focused on resiliency. It involved sports legends, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, empowering Florida students to persevere in the face of adversity.
Florida says the first lady helped develop the state's K-12 Character Education Standards, in partnership with the Department of Education.
"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," her bio adds.
The 41-year-old Ohio native has a bachelor's degree in economics from the College of Charleston. She's an equestrian, with three national titles.
Ron and Casey DeSantis married in 2010. They have three children: Madison, 4, Mason, 3, and 18-month-old Mamie.