ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis praised his wife, First Lady Casey DeSantis, during an appearance in St. Pete Beach Tuesday, calling her a “very, very strong woman” as she battles breast cancer.
“It’s not an easy thing when this happens because, it’s just your life is going and then all of a sudden this is something that puts that in the balance, and so it’s not been easy just kind of as we’ve had to deal with that as a family, obviously particularly for her, but I think she’s basically come to the point of, ‘OK, this is what I’m going to have to deal with,’” DeSantis said.
The governor said his wife had a feeling that she needed to get checked out and said he is grateful that she did.
“I do think that the lesson is -- it wasn’t like she was in a lot of pain. These screenings and the things that you go (to) can really, really be life-saving, and so I would just encourage folks, and not just women with breast cancer, but men -- there’s things that we’re more susceptible to -- make sure that you go in and do that when the physicians tell you to. She just had a feeling that she needed to do it, and so thank God that she did,” he said.
WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ full comments on wife’s breast cancer diagnosis
The governor said Casey DeSantis wanted to be transparent with her diagnosis as she may need to step back from some of her initiatives. Last week, the governor’s office announced that the first lady has stepped down as the chairwoman of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.
“She just wanted to be honest with people because she has initiatives and some of these things she may not be able to do in the immediate future that maybe she’ll pass the baton to me, but she’s going to be back,” he said.
The governor called his wife’s diagnoses a “bad break,” but said she still has “a lot to live for for the rest of her life,” including raising their three children with him.
He said their kids are still young so they don’t fully understand what their mother is going through, adding that his wife is a fighter.
“She’s basically resigned that better that she has to go through it than others who may not be able to handle it as well,” he said. “And that’s why I love her. She’s an exceptional person.”
The governor ultimately remained hopeful on his wife’s future health.
“I have faith,” he said. “I have faith in the big guy upstairs. I have faith in her.”