TAMPA, Fla. — “It can happen to you. It can happen to anybody and you save yourself so much pain and anguish if you go in early and you get those screenings.”
That's the message First Lady Casey DeSantis stressed while announcing $100 million for cancer research is included in the governor's proposed budget.
The first lady, who is battling breast cancer, also took a moment to share more about her story. Her diagnosis was first revealed in early October.
A thought that something was wrong, even though she didn't "physically feel" anything related to breast cancer is what the first lady says brought her to her OBGYN's office.
"Internally something was telling me that something wasn’t right," she said.
At the time she says her doctor didn't feel anything but that the feeling that something was wrong kept "nagging" at her. So she called back and a month later went in for a mammogram screening. That's when the first lady said doctors found the cancer.
“I was always one of those people that thought ‘it’ll never happen to me.’ You always think it happens to somebody else until it does happen to you and then you’re looking at yourself," she said.
First Lady Casey DeSantis also pushed for early screenings to avoid the "pain and anguish" of finding out at a later stage and shared an encouraging message with others who might be battling any form of cancer.
“Just never give up. Don’t quit. Just keep fighting. And just cause you get some bad news doesn’t mean you need to crawl into a hole and a tunnel and pull the wool over your head – get out and do as much as you humanly can and try to make a difference and do what you know in your heart is right," she said.
Casey DeSantis, a former Emmy-winning television personality at our sister-station in Jacksonville, has taken an active role in her husband's administration. She has spearheaded efforts touching everything from mental health to substance abuse and education.
The 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.