Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis diagnosed with breast cancer

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that his wife, First Lady Case DeSantis, "is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis has been diagnosed with breast cancer, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday.

“I am saddened to report that Florida’s esteemed First Lady and my beloved wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer,” the governor said in a statement. “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. Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up.”

The governor’s office did not say when the diagnosis was made or what stage the cancer is.

Casey DeSantis, 41, is a former TV reporter and anchor in Jacksonville and was an accomplished equestrian athlete in college.

She gave birth to the couple’s third child, Mamie, in March 2020. Their oldest daughter Madison is 4 and son Mason is 3.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the news Monday morning, calling his wife "a true fighter" and "the centerpiece of our family."

As first lady, DeSantis has worked on an initiative promoting a personal path to prosperity for Floridians, and she also partnered with sports teams and athletes across the state “to address the stigma surrounding mental health.”

DeSantis is among an estimated 26,000 American women to be diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 45.

Dr. Erica Bloomquist, a breast surgical oncologist with Memorial Healthcare, said there are genetic factors that can affect younger women and that the first lady’s case underscores the importance of screening beginning at age 40.

“That’s mammography, that’s the only imaging modality that has data that decreases mortality,” Bloomquist said.

Bloomquist added that advancements in mammography over the years have improved the ability to discover smaller tumors, catching breast cancer at an early stage, which allows for more treatment options.

Local 10 Special Projects Producer Kathleen Corso contributed to this report.