Amid cancer fight, Casey DeSantis touts victories at year’s end

Cancer didn't stop the First Lady from unveiling new initiatives.

Being diagnosed with cancer didn’t stop First Lady Casey DeSantis from working toward her goals for Florida.

The First Lady, who has made children and improving mental health priorities since before the COVID-19 pandemic, took a step back during her breast cancer treatment. But that didn’t stop her from making gains over the course of the year, even after her diagnosis.

“Floridians have shown tremendous resiliency over the past two years and I am humbled to help Florida’s families, children and environment to prosper,” DeSantis said. “I am proud of the work we have done over the past year and I look forward to our state doing even more in 2022 to help Floridians respond to and triumph over life’s challenges.”

DeSantis revealed her cancer diagnosis in early October, but she was already making public appearances again weeks later and announcing a new priority in early December.

DeSantis’ latest headline was the announcement of Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ recommendation to lawmakers that they set aside $100 million for cancer research and care in the coming fiscal year, $37 million more than the state has currently budgeted. The funding would help three centers in Florida continue to provide treatment and perform cutting-edge cancer research, including at Moffitt Cancer Center, where the First Lady is undergoing treatment.

“Florida offers some of the best cancer care and research in the nation, and I’m proud that we are proposing historic investments in our leading cancer centers,” she said earlier this month. “The Governor and I are committed to helping every cancer patient that we can through innovative research and high-quality care.”

In the mental health arena, she highlighted more than $280 million in spending the Governor signed for the current fiscal year, including a $20 million increase to the Mental Health Assistance Allocation to support school mental health programs. This month, she also announced $12 million to expand peer-to-peer mental health services available for first responders through the Department of Children and Families.

DeSantis expanded on school-based initiatives, including by helping Hope Ambassadors grow the student mentorship program.

In September, she helped launch Hope Florida’s A Pathway to Prosperity, another DCF program to improve economic standing among disadvantaged Floridians. Services are available to children aging out of foster care, pregnant mothers contending with substance abuse disorder and other families in need of assistance.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Alex

    December 29, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Where is Guvnuh DeUseless hiding as omicron rips through the state?

    His regeneron pill is mostly useless (ahem) against omicron, and we still don’t know how bad it will be for the hard-core far right, AKA the unvaccinated intelligentsia, also know as Trump/DeDumbass supporters.

    • Alex

      December 29, 2021 at 4:21 pm

      Oh, and the new hospitalizations are still outpacing the record numbers Delta set.

    • Justin

      December 30, 2021 at 9:48 pm

      Wow, great response considering the topic of the article Alex. To answer your question: I believe Gov. DeSantis is home for the holiday break like all other politicians from either side of the aisle (including Pres. Biden & VP Harris) with his children & wife, Casey, who is going through cancer. I’m sure you’re not callous enough to tell someone with a spouse/loved one going through cancer that they should work through the holidays instead of being with their family are you? Remember cancer or was that cancelled by your politics too?? If you’ve never had anyone close to you have cancer before, then you are lucky & extremely rare but if you have, please set your politics aside & try to show a bit of decorum & compassion for a fellow human being who is worried about their loved one’s life/well-being. If you dare respond with a snide response, you deserve the responses you receive from those of us (millions & millions on both sides of the aisle) who have lost someone close to cancer. Wishing a Happy New Year to all!

      • Wasted money

        January 1, 2022 at 9:08 am

        You are absolutely correct. However in today’s world besides useless politicians and the greedy donors they accept money from who gets the holidays off for more than a day or two . These care centers have billions and they need more . Good luck fighting cancer unless you have s ton of money and halfway decent insurance like a family member of mine . Our words will never do or change anything so what’s the point God Bless .

      • AG

        January 1, 2022 at 3:59 pm

        Well, I went through cancer, and I had no spouse to help me. Not only that, but I had to work through the holidays in order to keep my health insurance so I could continue my treatments. And then Deathsantis brings his “cancer stricken” wife to a public event where no one is wearing masks? He obviously doesn’t care that much about her health and wellness.

        • Jeri Levasseur

          January 3, 2022 at 8:40 pm

          Bullshite AG. I am sorry for your cancer diagnosis, but not your surly attitude. I am also compromised, but move about without a mask and I am responsible for me and not you. Try not to be such a Karen.

      • Julia Bartkiw

        January 3, 2022 at 5:45 pm

        Well said

    • Jeri Levasseur

      January 1, 2022 at 2:45 pm

      More people have died under this demented fool than they ever did under POTUS Trump. Take that to the bank.

    • Katherine Scapa

      January 3, 2022 at 5:20 pm

      Hasn’t anyone told you that he accompanied his wife to Breast Cancer treatment on December 29th? He announced that she had it in October, but didn’t stop working for your State, and by the way, neither did she. LOOK UP THE SCIENCE ON Omicron and you will see that it has less than Covid-19 and the Delta Variant, as far as symptoms. As far as Trump supporters, I am an intelligent, vaccinated Conservative, who also voted for Bill Clinton in the 90s, while graduating from College in Social Work. (3.75 GPA, et tu). I’m now 72 years old, learned NOT to vote Democrat anymore and changed my party years ago.

  • tom palmer

    December 29, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    let the unvaccinated pursue their fate

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    December 30, 2021 at 8:31 am

    The comments from the far left expose them for what they are.

    • ConcernCitizen

      December 30, 2021 at 8:39 am

      What they are? Please clarify.

  • George

    December 30, 2021 at 11:23 am

    When covid gets really bad, it’s easier to find snow in FL than Ron Desantis.

  • ODW

    December 31, 2021 at 11:46 am

    “… the omicron variant … has rapidly overtaken the delta variant as the dominant strain of the coronavirus in Florida.”
    Isn’t that a good thing? Omicron is 80% less virulent than Delta according to all available data. If it’s more transmissible and pushes out Delta, it’ll lead to much fewer hospitalizations and deaths.

  • Larry Gray

    January 1, 2022 at 8:04 am

    With all the hoopla over Gov Desantis silence, the most interesting thing about this article is the LACK OF A DATE. While it focuses and attributes Casey DeSantis as “year end.” Looking at the primary paragraph ““Floridians have shown tremendous resiliency … doing even more in 2022 to help Floridians respond to and triumph over life’s challenges.” when did she physically (or official press release) say it? Would have been easy to start that paragraph with “On Wednesday.(at ___) she stated”. It is further complicated as two paragraphs later starts “DeSantis’ latest headline was the announcement of” while no date in the article while referring to it as her latest headline, it was December 8th when she was a member of a policy committee at Moffitt and did announce Gov DeSantis increased funding initiative. So just when was this “year end statement”, did it actually occur, or is this just creative journalism.


      January 3, 2022 at 5:32 pm

      If you read the entire article, it was mentioned that Governor DeSantis announced her CANCER DIAGNOSIS IN EARLY OCTOBER.

Comments are closed.


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