UPDATE: Elizabeth Edwards Has Passed Away
The wife of former presidential hopeful John Edwards stopped treatments for cancer yesterday and passed away today at the age of 61.
-Kathryn H. Cusimano
UPDATE: Elizabeth Edwards passed away today at the age of 61. According to a statement released by the Edwards family, she was surrounded by family when she died at home in Chapel Hill, N.C. The statement asks that mourners who wish to send flowers donate to the Wade Edwards Learning Lab instead.
Elizabeth Edwards has been fighting a long, very public battle with breast cancer, but yesterday she announced in a statement that she will stop receiving treatments. The wife of former presidential hopeful John Edwards is now resting at home; her cancer has spread to her liver and continued treatment would be “unproductive,” according to a statement released by the Edwards family. Edwards also posted a poignant statement on her Facebook page:
“You all know that 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. 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. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel towards everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.”
Edwards was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, but continued to support her husband’s political career. Her cancer entered remission in 2005, but Edwards was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2007, and has been in treatment ever since. Edwards has remained a popular public figure since her husband ran for vice-president in 2004. She stood by him as he mounted a campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, and even as his campaign fell apart following his admission that he’d fathered a child with another woman, Rielle Hunter.
Elizabeth Edwards is an attorney and a successful author. She documented her extended battle with cancer along with the tragic loss of her oldest son, Wade, in her 2009 book Resilience (Elizabeth and John have three other children: Cate, 28; Emma Claire, 12; and Jack, 10). She wrote in the book that she hoped to live long enough to see her younger children finish school: “Eight years… That’s all I ask for… I want to walk them to the door of the next part of their lives.”