Elizabeth Edwards: A Model of Courage

Beth Brophy Health Guide
  • After hearing an interview with Elizabeth Edwards on a radio talk show this week, and reading an article about her today in the Washington Post, I’ve become a big fan. She’s a survivor in the best sense of the word, displaying grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances. She’s survived more than breast cancer, too. She has also endured the devastating blow of losing her 16-year-old son, Wade, in a car accident, a decade ago. Her newly published memoir Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers, is the story of her life and her many roles including political wife, mother, lawyer and cancer patient.

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    There’s never a good time to hear a cancer diagnosis, but it’s hard to imagine worse timing than for Edwards, who found a lump in her breast in October, 2004, two weeks before her husband, vice presidential nominee John Edwards, and his running mate John Kerry, conceded the presidency to George W. Bush. She went straight from the grueling campaign trail to seven months of treatment--chemotherapy, lumpectomy and radiation. She’s cancer- free now, but suffers from lymphedema and had a recent scare, where the doctors thought her cancer had recurred--but it hadn’t.

    Edwards, 57, is a model of courage. In the radio interview, she talked about how hard it was for her to go on after Wade’s death, but she did. She and her husband added to their family, with two children, now 8 and 6, joining her daughter Cate, who is now 24. Edwards laughs off how people make rude comments about her weight, and say she doesn’t look good enough to keep the attention of her youthful, attractive husband. She has learned not the sweat the small stuff. And while her husband is often mentioned as a front-runner for the 2008 Presidential election, she’s got my vote.


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    Dear Elizabeth Edwards: Thoughts from Breast Cancer Patients, Survivors and Families
Published On: October 10, 2006