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Casey DeSantis surprises Republican crowd Saturday in first appearance after cancer announcement


Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis made a surprise appearance at a Republican dinner on Saturday, telling the crowd she’s ‘sure as hell not giving up’ after her husband revealed she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this month.

DeSantis, 41, was in good spirits as she took the stage in a scarlet red dress with her brunette tresses down at the Hernando County Republican Party Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.

‘I hear when you get a standing ovation before you even walk in the door you should probably just leave,’ she joked after accepting the microphone from her husband, Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

The governor revealed that his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer in a statement released October 4, though he did not say at what stage the cancer was detected.

‘Probably the most important person that has stood by me is our wonderful first lady,’ the Republican told the crowd Saturday before revealing that she was in attendance. 

‘But I’ll tell you one thing is for sure. I’m sure as hell not giving up,’ the mother-of-three told a cheering audience at a Hernando County Republican Party dinner on Saturday

Gov. Ron DeSantis, 43, announced that his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this month, though he did not specify the stage of the disease

Gov. Ron DeSantis, 43, announced that his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this month, though he did not specify the stage of the disease

‘I trust in the Lord, I know how tough she is. She’s doing very well. In fact, she’s doing so well that she wanted to come here tonight and say hello to you, so here she is.’ 

The crowd greeted the First Lady with a standing ovation and a healthy dose of cheers.

DeSantis, who shares three children with the governor, delivered a message of perseverance in a one minute, 30-second video obtained by Fox News.  

‘I think there’s a lot that we can be upset about, that we can be sad about: The direction of our country, the future of our nation, our families, our communities, our safety, our children, their education, their futures, our health and our wellbeing,’ the First Lady proposed.

‘But I’ll tell you one thing is for sure. I’m sure as hell not giving up,’ she said, attracting more cheers from the rapt audience before looking over her shoulder at her husband.

Casey and Ron DeSantis, 43, are the parents of Madison, 4, Mason, 3, and Mamie, 18 months

Casey and Ron DeSantis, 43, are the parents of Madison, 4, Mason, 3, and Mamie, 18 months

DeSantis is an Ohio native. She attended the College of Charleston and won an Emmy Award while working at local TV station WJXT in Jacksonville, Florida from 2003 to 2009

DeSantis is an Ohio native. She attended the College of Charleston and won an Emmy Award while working at local TV station WJXT in Jacksonville, Florida from 2003 to 2009

‘Never ever ever give up the fight, ever.’

Hernando County, the site of Saturday’s dinner, is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan statistical area. 

Former President Donald Trump took the county with more than 70,000 votes in November 2020, compared to 37,519 for President Joe Biden. 

Gov. DeSantis, 43, announced his wife’s diagnosis earlier this month.

‘I am saddened to report that Florida’s esteemed First Lady and my beloved wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. 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,’ the governor said in a statement.

‘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.’ 

Casey and Ron DeSantis are the parents of Madison, 4, Mason, 3, and Mamie, 18 months.

The cost per plate of Saturday’s dinner was not immediately available, though a speech by the sitting governor is sure to come with a hefty price tag.

The Hernando County Republican Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.

Casey DeSantis is a native of Troy, Ohio. She earned a degree in economics from the College of Charleston, according to her State of Florida biography.  

She’s a three-time National Champion equestrian, as well as a runner-up Division I NCAA Champion.

She worked for the PGA Tour as a producer and on-air host and earned an Emmy for on-air talent while working in Jacksonville, Florida, where she was a reporter, anchor and producer at local station WJXT from 2003 to 2009, according to her LinkedIn.



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