In the midst of his presidential campaign, John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth
, made an announcement that has America asking, What would you do if your spouse was diagnosed with cancer?
On March 22, 2007, the couple broke the news that Elizabeth's cancer had returned after a chest X-ray for a broken rib revealed a cancerous tumor on one of her ribs. Elizabeth's breast cancer has metastasized and spread to her bones.
Despite the news, the couple decided to continue John's campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. John told reporters, "The thing that is true is that her cancer will not be cured now. Elizabeth will have this as long as she's alive. When this happens, you have a choice. You can go cower in the corner and hide or you can be tough and go out there and stand up for what you believe in. The campaign goes on strongly."
Elizabeth told reporters she and her husband will continue to look for a silver lining. "Is this a hardship for us? Yes. It's yet another hurdle," she says. "I'm immensely proud of John's campaign, and I can't deprive him of that just because I want to sit home, feeling perfectly well, but wanting his company."
In the weeks following the announcement, there has been a firestorm of public opinion. "I think that he should be there to support her and not out on the campaign trail," one woman says. "My mother had breast cancer," another woman says. "I know from my own mother's experience that you don't let cancer stop you. You don't let anything stop you."