When Elizabeth Edwards married John Edwards in 1977, she says she asked him for one gift—fidelity. "I wanted him to be faithful to me," she says. "It was enormously important."

To many, the Edwardses' marriage seemed unbreakable. When their son Wade died in a car accident in 1996, John, Elizabeth and their daughter Cate mourned as a family. Years later, they celebrated the births of the youngest Edwards children, Emma Claire and Jack.

When John decided to go into politics, Elizabeth was a constant on the campaign trail. She stood by his side when he became a U.S. senator and again when he ran for president in 2004.

Shortly after John lost the 2004 election, the Edwards family was tested again. Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer, but with the support of her husband and family, she vowed to beat it.


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