October 20th, 2012
08:53 PM ET
1 year 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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– Poll: Races in Florida, Ohio remains tight after second debate

– Early voting opens in seven states, D.C.

– Sparring over economy in weekly addresses


Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Florida
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. citizen17

    Ann Romney, with two serious diseases, must realize the imporantance of health care, and the expense associated with treatment. She is lucky- she can afford any type of therapy, teatment, care, assistance. Why does she, her husband, and her party think that others should be satisfied with going to the emergency room to die when their diseases are not dignosed in a timely manner because they have no preventative health care?
    And these people call themselves Christians?

    October 20, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. JT

    Grow up Ann. Lots of people have MS and breast cancer; unfortunately they don't have a horsey or extreme wealth to fight the disease. Perhaps in your great Mormon heart (and wealth) you could give money to help those poor souls. Grow TFU, most woment with MS and cancers of various kinds have to get up and go to work each and every day, come home and take care of the family and always put on a brave face. You are a phoney!

    October 20, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. pcalif

    Again? and Again?

    October 20, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. Sirned

    Talk to me when she can't afford healthcare and feed her kids. Millions wish they could afford to be sick in this country.

    October 20, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  5. skylar

    lucky for her she's covered under Obamacare as a pre-existing condition.

    October 20, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. RJ

    For some intuitive reason I cannot buy into Ann Romney's MS story. What she describes as her initial diagnosis seems to be more of an advance stage of the disease. What is this, her way of promoting a feel sorry for me and my made up demise so vote for Mitt? What a bunch of horse excrement. For someone who has a debilitating disease she seems to be quite fine as she makes her way across country, tireless in her afternoon gossip talk shows.

    October 20, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. marty

    Mrs. Romney deserves credit for valiantly fighting two terrible diseases. She does have one advantage of never having to worrry about getting the best of health care. There are those among us who are concerned that repealing Obamacare would put their health needs back in jeopardy by being refused insurance, being canceled or being dropped after reaching a certain money limit. Obamacare is working!

    October 20, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  8. Ethics Board

    Fortunately, she can't be denied medical coverage for a pre-existing condition.... unless her husband is President.

    October 20, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  9. DrVonBrain

    At least she doesn't have to struggle with paying her own health care costs. I think she can afford to be charitable.

    October 20, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Meddleone

    MS must cost a lot in medical coverage. I guess if you're not a millionaire and they repeal Obamacare it would be pretty tuff to pay those medical bills.

    October 20, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Liz the First

    Isn't that sweet! Someone who has the greatest healthcare possible wanting folks to vote for her husband, who represents the party that doesn't care if anyone else has healthcare.

    October 20, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. jkhoffman76

    It will be very interesting to see how Mrs. Romney reconciles her M.S. advocacy with the incredible harm her husband's policies will do to people with living with the disease (and people with all disabilities requiring long-term care.)

    October 20, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. Brian

    How wonderful she was able to overcome her debilitating disesase. I'm sure the medical treatments she received were the best in the world, and she could afford them without ruining her family since she's a billionaire. Sad that she and her husband are seeking to limit access to the same kind of health care to millions of Americans should Mitt be elected president. But hey, as long as the aristocrats have access who cares about the mooching 47%, right?

    October 20, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  14. Wondering Wanda

    Be blessed and continued good health–I like you and your husband just do not want him to be the President–You have a great smile and have "pretty boys"

    October 20, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  15. rockythelabradog

    I also have MS. The medications are very costly. Obamacare will ensure that I can be insured. Ms. Rmney can obviously afford the treatment. Without insurance price breaks the medications would cost in excess of $100,000/year. With insurance negotiated rates, the cost of medications is less than $50,000.

    I don't see any compassion coming from Ann or Mitt for people in challenging medical conditions.

    October 20, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  16. SUSAN

    But Romeny and Ryan want to overturn Obamacare on Day 1 if elected. How will those of us with MS and Cancer obtain any affordable insurance with those pre-existing conditions???? The Romenys can afford the BEST of all possible care, including thousands of dollars for therapeutic horsemanship!!! I hope Obama wins so the rest of us can afford to buy health insurance to cover us regular folks.

    October 20, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. AgrippaMT

    It will be such a pleasure to watch little annie romney die of MS. We just have to make sure that she doesn't die in the White House. Let Mitt take her to the Cayman Islands where his money is. No one will shed a tear.

    October 20, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. MontanaTrace

    Class act, Put aside politics. This is a quality person.

    October 20, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. gwats

    Ann's story would be more impressive if she had to use the same healthcare system the rest of us do.

    October 20, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    Every person I know with MS suffered severe abuse or stress in their life, which I believe precipitated their MS. I can only imagine the stress Ann has endured being married to a liar who holds her eternal soul in his hand ...

    October 20, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Carole

    No one wants MS but it is very common, as I have several friends and a relative with MS. At times it takes away from the ability to do things you would like to do, but life does go on and it could be a lot worse. I hope Ann Romney is not using her MS for her husbands gain.

    October 20, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  22. Observer

    It's wonderful that Ann Romney was able to overcome both MS and breast cancer with the help of a Thoughtful and caring husband and that she will make it her priority but what about all the other cases of POOR, Uninsured, people who suffer from these diseases? Her husband and his cronies want to do away with Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare. And of course Planned Parenthood be dammed that provides screening for breast cancer. And yet people still want to vote against their own benefits for her husband. And I thought just Republicans were insane. Of course, it doesn't hurt that your husband is rich and you don't have to work, help support the family, or worry if there is food on the table....our if you even have a table or a roof over your head. Where's the empathy, Ann?

    October 20, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  23. Ann Marie

    Oh please....so sorry she has MS, but trust me unlike others she has the best care money can buy. Why in the world having gone through this health tragedy, would they condemn the rest of us to no insurance?

    October 20, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. Mike

    What a classy and brave woman! And what a love story! That is the first lady we need in the white house!

    October 20, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. B

    FOUL: This is not fair all you Romians, Romulyns, or Romneis.( you get the point). This is totally not fair to disclose such information, which plays on the voter's feelings of sympathy

    October 20, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
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