the suzi parker files

Politics, Pop Culture and Ponderings

Elizabeth Edwards’ Family Gathers as Her Cancer Spreads

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Elizabeth Edwards was surrounded by her family and friends in North Carolina late Monday as news came that her terminal cancer had spread to her liver.

Elizabeth Edwards, 61, the estranged wife of former presidential contender John Edwards, has battled cancer since 2004. She was diagnosed with breast cancer during the waning weeks of the 2004 presidential election when John Edwards was the vice-presidential nominee for Sen. John Kerry.

The news of Elizabeth Edwards’ deterioration was reported by numerous news outlets, including WRAL.com, a website for the Raleigh-Durham area. The website also reported Edwards had recently been hospitalized. Her doctors have said that further treatment would be futile.

“Elizabeth has been advised by her doctors that further treatment of her cancer would be unproductive. She is resting at home with family and friends,” the Edwards family says in a statement to PEOPLE.

Elizabeth Edwards posted a Facebook message Monday on her personal page to her friends. “I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope,” she wrote. “These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that.”

Since 2004, Edwards has struggled with health and marital issues.

John Edwards, who served as North Carolina’s senator from 1999 to 2005, launched a White House run with Elizabeth Edwards by his side shortly after President George W. Bush won re-election in 2004. The family practically lived in Iowa leading up to the 2008 Iowa caucus.

In 2007, the couple announced that Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer had returned after a period of remission, but they vowed to keep campaigning. John Edwards came in third in that contest behind President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

John and Elizabeth Edwards were always the poster couple for the perfect political marriage. That was the case until summer 2008 when allegations of John Edwards’ affair, originally reported in “The National Enquirer” in 2007, bubbled to the mainstream media.

In August 2008, John Edwards admitted the affair with Rielle Hunter, who had worked as a video producer in his campaign. Hunter claimed that Edwards was the father of her daughter. Just this past January, John Edwards admitted that he was the father.

John and Elizabeth Edwards have three children. Their oldest son, Wade, was killed in a car wreck in 1996.

Elizabeth Edwards, an attorney, rose to the occasion after her husband’s marital infidelity was reported. Already an established author from “Saving Graces,” a book about her battle with cancer, Edwards wrote “Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities” in May 2009.

In that book, she lashed out at Hunter and wrote that her husband should not have run for president in 2008.

For the last several years, Elizabeth Edwards has been a keen activist for women’s health care and cancer. She also opened “The Red Window” a furniture store in downtown Chapel Hill last year.

In her Facebook post on Monday, Edwards wrote, “It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day,” she wrote. “To you I simply say: you know. With love, Elizabeth.”

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Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm

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