October 20th, 2012
08:53 PM ET
2 years ago

Ann Romney shares her MS story with supporters in Florida

(CNN) - Ann Romney opened up about her struggles with multiple sclerosis while speaking Saturday with patrons at a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shared some of her personal experiences when she met a woman who also suffers from the nervous system disease.

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"It was really tough on my balance," Romney said. "I couldn't figure out what was going on. That was sort of what was happening. I was trying to figure out what was going on, what was wrong with me."

Romney said she used to play tennis, but "when I got really sick I stopped playing so much."

"I was very coordinated and athletic, and all of a sudden I'm falling and tripping and losing my balance. And being so weak," she said. "And I was like, 'Something's wrong!'"

Romney, 63, is a survivor of both MS and breast cancer.

She was diagnosed with MS in 1998, and said in an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger this summer that her husband was an important part of her efforts to regain control of her life.

"Even when I was as sick as that he would curl up in the bed with me," she said. "It was like he was gonna do anything he could do just to say, 'I'm here. You're OK. Just stay right there, and we'll be OK.'"

Mitt Romney also described the couple's meeting with a neurologist after Ann's symptoms became serious.

"It was very clear that she was flunking the examination. She couldn't stand on her right foot without falling over and things like that. (The doctor) stepped out and she began to cry and I welled up tears as well and we hugged each other, and she said, 'Something is terribly wrong,' and I said, 'Yes, but Ann, we can go through anything so long as it's not fatal,'" he recalled.

Ann Romney has said MS and breast cancer would be two of her priorities as first lady if her husband is elected.

Later Saturday, Ann Romney attended a campaign rally in Boca Raton, where her husband and President Barack Obama will meet Monday night in the final presidential debate.

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– Sparring over economy in weekly addresses


Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Florida
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. corncop

    Tug on the heartstrings Ann! Go for the sympathy vote! It is too bad that she has this disease, but did she also say what might have been if hubby did not have a gazillion dollars? She can buy the best of everything and not worry. Let's hear the story based on one of us common folk out here. The middle class family, even with insurance, who will struggle with the cost, The elderly or someone else on medicare. A veteran. Or Mr. Romney's irrelevant 47% on medicaid or those who have nothing at all!

    Poor Ann, she had to give up tennis! What about those folks who have to give up their jobs! I guess it's OK though. She got her million dollar horse! And it is a tax writeoff too!

    Ann go back and use your sob story on your wealthy friends. Maybe they will give a damn and give you an expensive bottle of wine or another million for der Mitt's campaign.

    October 21, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. MaryAngeline

    Let's have a pity party. Don't know who I dislike more, Ann or Mitt. And I actually voted for him for Gov here in MA!

    October 21, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  3. arosel

    What does this have to do with the election?

    I don't want her husband getting elected because he's a lying, insensitive, draft dodging flip flop.

    October 21, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  4. Larry

    The problem with MS is you are not a survivor. You never beat MS. You just continually deteriorate.

    October 21, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  5. heather

    What an irony. MS requires a lot of very expensive medical care. Breast cancer also.

    Her husband wants to make it impossible for many families to afford the care that "saved" his wife.

    October 21, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  6. Kevin

    I thought she had Lyme disease per Romney's words during his campaign. Since Lyme disease is a very contradictory disease. American people deserve the truth.

    October 21, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  7. Kevin

    That a lie. She does not have MS. She has Lyme. MS is not treatable but Lyme probably is. Romney even use her disease as one campaign bargain but now this lie just made her husband lost my vote.

    October 21, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  8. EJ

    I have a relative who suffers from MS so I know how debilitating it is. Shame on Mrs. Romney if she is using this life altering illness to gain sympathy and votes. Hopefully this not the case.

    October 21, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  9. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    We don't care ,we still won't vote for a lier and tax cheat and after dip loses ,he won't have to show his tax returns gop train wreck in three weeks unless all voters are idiots !!!!

    October 21, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  10. Nate

    So why doesn't she understand from this that 40 million people without health insurance constitutes a serious social problem in America? She is fortunate enough to have money to pay for coverage. What about those who don't?

    October 21, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. Rational

    Top priorities as First Lady, eh? Well, Ann just so you know if there was a single payer national insurance then people wouldn't have to rely on being married to a very rich man when they got diagnosed with these dieseases to not go bankrupt.

    October 21, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. innmName

    Mitt Romney has been running for one political office or amother since at least the nineties. MS is a devastating disease which requires staying away from stress. Sorry, Ann. Your husband's ambition is the priority in his life. You deserved better.

    October 21, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. carolina rivera

    A pre existing condition? good thing they are rich

    October 21, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. TampaGal

    Most who are sick would take Ann's place. What worry does she have of whether or not she can get or afford treatment? Most of America isn't so lucky. And her party wants to continue to make healthcare a comodity that only those who can afford it can get well.

    October 21, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  15. Donkey Party

    Mitt goes with the lies, and Ann panders for the sympathy vote. Let's ask Joe Walsh what he thinks. Will he call out Ann like he calls out Tammy Duckworth? Everything about the Romneys is shady. Who can say for sure if Ann is even telling the truth? Her husband has no problem at all with being honest. Maybe if Mitt would release his tax returns, and Ann release her medical records, we could ascertain just how much truth the Romneys are telling. Just like "The boy who cried wolf", it's impossible to believe anything the Romneys say.

    October 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  16. revets

    I have personally observed several friends and relatives regressive experience with MS and aggressive estrogen-fueled breast cancer over a period of time. Mrs. Romney deserves some sympathy for her milder experience with MS and nonaggressive breast cancer. But this is not the same as those individuals with MS who require wheelchairs for mobility and women going through failing treatments for breast cancer. same. That aside, it has to be said not everyone with MS and breast cancer has the treatment resources Mrs. Romney's wealth provides and publiciizing her condition as part of a pandering political campaign is despicable.The election is not about the Romneys personal problems but the needs of all Amercian people.

    October 21, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  17. cjris

    i wonder how she feels about them rebranding the meds and are now charging 20 times for them . oh wait she has money to purchase it .

    October 21, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  18. Kate

    Ann Romney says that MS and breast cancer will be her two priorities if she is first lady. That's great BUT, meanwhile, her husband plans to take down what's mockingly referred to as 'Obamacare' for the rest of us. Ann is a very lucky lady. Her husband is very rich and can get her the best care available, no matter what befalls her. And she doesn't have to worry about having a pre-existing condition because his boatload of money will save her any worry about that pesky little problem. It's the rest of us who have to worry about our health if Mitt becomes president. Seniors, good luck finding a good insurance plan you can afford when Mitt issues you vouchers. And good luck, too, to those of you with pre-existing conditions. If you don't have one now, you never know when you might develop one. So, when Mrs. Romney talks about her problems with MS and breast cancer, I have little pity for her under the circumstances. The person I sympathize with is the single mother who finds she has MS or breast cancer and who needs to bring in money to keep her family afloat ... and who will have no health insurance because Mitt Romney has gotten rid of 'Obamacare'.

    October 21, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  19. bellenoitr

    Ann Romney would have no political power as a first lady. I think it would be more noble of her to promote national healthcare for all the women who have conditions where they can't afford medical insurance for. She lives in a glass house, or should I say, many glass houses. Kudos to her for being a survivor. She had the best that money can buy. Most of us ordinary American women don't have that.

    October 21, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  20. revets

    I have personally observed several friends and relatives regressive experience with MS and aggressive estrogen-fueled breast cancer over a period of time. Mrs. Romney deserves some sympathy for her milder experience with MS and nonaggressive breast cancer. But this is not the same as those individuals with MS who require wheelchairs for mobility and women going through failing treatments for breast cancer. same. That aside, it has to be said not everyone with MS and breast cancer has the treatment resources Mrs. Romney's wealth provides and publiciizing her condition as part of a pandering political campaign is despicable.The election is not about the Romneys personal problems but the needs of all Amercian people.

    October 21, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  21. tustyone

    How sad! Mrs. Romaney, you could not play tennis. Try if you have to work for a paycheck to provide for your family, but you could not

    Can that poor woman getting the treatment as you did with your unlimited money?

    Ms Ramney, We really don't give a damm about your MS. Your husband deprives most American women's right to get adquate health care!!!

    October 21, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
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