Edwards Will Continue to Campaign Despite Wife’s Illness

Posted March 22, 2007 at 12:02pm

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) announced Thursday that his presidential campaign will push forward unchanged despite the fact that his wife, Elizabeth, is dealing with the re-emergence of cancer.

“The campaign goes on. The campaign goes on strongly,” John Edwards said at a midday news conference in Chapel Hill, N.C., with his wife standing at his side.

Elizabeth Edwards, 57, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, at the end of the presidential campaign in which her husband was the Democratic vice presidential nominee. She underwent successful treatment and was later declared cancer-free.

This week, after feeling a pain on her side, doctors confirmed the presence of a malignant tumor, and said the cancer had spread to the bone.

John Edwards said the cancer is “no longer curable, but it is treatable” and that the family remains optimistic about his wife’s prognosis.

“Elizabeth will have this as long as she’s alive,” he said, adding that her doctor likened the situation to a patient living with diabetes.

“I don’t look sickly, I don’t feel sickly,” Elizabeth Edwards told reporters, adding that she will continue to campaign on her husband’s behalf as she is able to.

Despite media reports to the contrary, Edwards said that his campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2008 would continue — although he said he would change his schedule as needed to be with his wife during her treatment.

Edwards is considered one of the three leading contenders for his party’s White House nomination, although his bid has been overshadowed by the candidacies of Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.).

March 31 marks the end of the first quarter fundraising period, and all presidential contenders will file reports with the Federal Election Commission showing their fundraising totals on April 15. The first quarter numbers are viewed as one of the first key indicators of each candidate’s viability.