Why Ron And Casey DeSantis Kept Her Cancer Diagnosis A Secret From Their Kids

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is never easy, but when little kids are involved, it becomes even more challenging to navigate — a lesson that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his wife, Casey DeSantis, had to learn the hard way following her October 2021 breast cancer diagnosis. They felt the best option for their family was not to tell their kids. 

In an episode of "Fox & Friends," Casey shared what it was like to receive the diagnosis while mothering a 4, 3, and 1-year-old. "Anybody will say with a cancer diagnosis, when you start hearing those words, it's not definitive right out of the gate. It is, 'We see something that is problematic.' It's like very, very difficult when you look at your children, and they don't know," she said.

Fortunately, the first lady of Florida is in remission and has been cancer-free since March 2022. But for the year prior, she had to continue being a mom of three and explaining away her cancer treatments to her young children.

Casey DeSantis outlined her extensive cancer treatments while on Fox

Casey DeSantis emotionally recounted the experience on "Fox & Friends," describing how she received six rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and three surgeries while she and her husband kept it under wraps from the kids. "They have no idea what Mama went through," she recalled. After her surgeries made using her left arm difficult, Casey said, "I told them ... I hurt my arm. I didn't want to tell them, but through God's grace, I am here." 

Ron DeSantis' wife's journey with breast cancer began like many individuals who have received a diagnosis: she felt a lump in her breast and got it checked out by a doctor. Her first visit gave her the all-clear, but her instincts pushed her to receive a second opinion. She followed her intuition and scheduled a second mammogram, which is when she received her cancer diagnosis.

The Florida governor stood by Casey throughout her breast cancer journey, revealing his wife's heartbreaking health diagnosis in the fall of 2021. "As she faces the most difficult test of her life, she will have not only my unwavering support but the support of our entire family, as well as the prayers and well wishes from Floridians across our state," he said in a statement (via the Daily Mail). "Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up."

The First Lady of Florida has used her experience to help others

Not only did Casey DeSantis bravely battle her cancer in secret, but she also used her experience as a catalyst to help others. As the First Lady of Florida, she launched the Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program to improve cancer care and education in the southern state. She announced the program and its analytical team, the Florida Cancer Connect, in February 2023, per Ron DeSantis' website.

The new cancer program was launched a year after the DeSantis family delivered a far more positive update about Casey's cancer diagnosis. "Our view is that 2022 will be the year where we can say that she is cancer-free, and that'll be something that'll be really important," DeSantis said, per the Miami Herald. While she remained out of the spotlight during her cancer treatments, Casey has since returned to her husband's side as he continues his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis' kids are some of the youngest to live in the Florida governor's mansion in decades and include Madison, Mason, and Mamie, from oldest to youngest. Casey told "Fox & Friends" that even now that her children have grown since her initial diagnosis, they still don't know she was ever sick.