October 20th, 2012
08:53 PM ET
6 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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Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Florida
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Sharon

    How lucky for Mrs. Romney that she has the means to treat her illness. If she should become first lady, I would hope that she makes access to care part of her outreach for MS and breast cancer.

    October 20, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  2. Claude Mondiere

    I devoted few years of my life to work days and nights to understand MS and I accepted to publish in second to build a powerful team. I was able to do this work bringing a new treatment for the relapse with demyelination , I started to make the food ,a prevention for new relapses, and physiol\therapy.I was able to be original using my own money to be free from pharmaceutical companies and political influences. This work took me to Chicago U. I would have like to see Ann Romney to use her power to found MS original projects. It is not a disease but a syndrome, it can be totally reversible. I live now in Houston, I would like to see MS as history, it is possible if we build a foundation just for sciences involved in MS, with enough funds to continue the mathematic model I did in my Medical Thesis to understand what is the common denominator that all patients has before destroying their own myelin. If Ann Romney would be able to launch such a center it would be a powerful support for the credibility of her husband and will make history.

    October 20, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. MIke

    Good thing she is filthy rich, otherwise the outcome may have been quite different. If I (or many other americans) woke up tomorrow with MS, I would lose everything from my job to my home and probably only be able to access treatment of nowhere near the quality the privileged Mrs. Romney has.

    October 20, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. Name Concerned American

    What a wonderful lady! She is definitely a good role model for our young people!

    October 20, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. judith

    Boo hoo! Ann never had any doubt that she would get the best treatment money could buy, nor did she have to worry about going back to work of health insurance. Everyone who gets sick like she did should have these options. But she doesn't seem to realize that the other 99% of us haven't her life of absolute privilege.

    October 20, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. dave

    Yep. Time to grab the sympathy vote. How pathetic is that?

    October 20, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. freddie nerk

    This is pathetic journalism. Millions of folks will be denied quality healthcare because her heartless husband does not have the guts to support Obamacare-which he knows is right. Not many folks can afford the treatment she received and many just died. That's the GOP philosophy-if ur rich and white, u live, otherwise just die and save the cost. God will punish these carpetbaggers. Vote Obama is a vote for God.

    October 20, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. tj

    what ever fake story you share, it won't work!

    October 20, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. tj

    You are not the only person with MS in the US. So stop this MS stuff. We don't need it for our economy.

    October 20, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. Mike

    An article about Ann Romney on CNN.com. ... Surely in the comments, you will see vile, nasty comments from those who accuse republicans of a war on women. Wait for it. Wait for it.

    October 20, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. tj

    Romney got Romnesia, why Ann got MS and Annesia. Geez! too contagious.

    October 20, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Chaos

    Considering that she claims living off of MItt's daddy's million dollar stock holdings in college was "struggling", this story is probably exaggerated as well.

    October 20, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. Po Boy

    Great story, which makes it all the more perplexing to ordinary Americans why she and her husband would advocate deny many Americans the same access to health care that she enjoys!

    October 20, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. bigdoglv

    Her breast cancer story would have been a good subject on The View with this being breast cancer awareness month. Missed opportunity by Barbara and her buddies.

    October 20, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  15. Brandy

    I have MS too do you really want to hear about MS

    October 20, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Peter

    Ahhhh! Great another sad story to make everyone think they're on the same playing grounds as everyone else.

    October 20, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  17. butwait

    Touching, perhaps... but tell me about all those people in situations just like this who don't have medical insurance. Mitt's answer– "They can go to the emergency room." Yeah, and does he really believe they get the same care Ann did there??

    October 20, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  18. JT

    It's sad that anyone has to deal with such an illness although it must be nice to just be able to pay cash for treatment without worrying about silly things like insurance.

    October 20, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. Barbara Schuima

    What about the people who have these problems AND ARE NOT RICH BEYOND BELIEF !!!! !!!!! Care about them ? That's right YOU DON'T.....They're in the 47% !!!

    October 20, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  20. n.

    I wonder if Ann Romney believes in alternative medicine such as Low Dose Naltrexone and Cannabis. Or is that too non-corporate a path for her? Both of those medications together would do great things for both MS and cancer. Will she promote safe treatments or give funding to large pharmaceutical companies for drugs with more dangerous side-effects? I'd like to see someone that isn't afraid of confronting the truth about alternative therapies.

    October 20, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  21. tam

    No matter what her story is, she is not the one running for President. In her illness, did she ever worry about covering costs?

    October 20, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. William Danielson

    Michelle Obama knows MS well since her father suffered from it. I wonder if she and Ann will ever talk to each other about their experiences with MS?

    October 20, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  23. Mike

    Break out the violins ... Sorry Ann, but you wouldn't have a snowball's chance in h3ll of getting health insurance with that pre-existing condition if your husband were president. Oh right, you don't care because you have enough money to pay full price without even blinking.

    October 20, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  24. Floridares

    Sorry for Ann BUT she has never had to fight for her health care the way others of us have had to. She had access to the best because money was no object. Poor little rich girl with her therapy horse that costs us taxpayers either now or in future if she makes $$$ on horse she can recapture all expenses on their tax returns.

    October 20, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  25. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    I'm sorry for anyone with a serious or chronic illness (I'm a breast cancer survivor and have glaucoma), but Mrs. Romney having MS does not in any way increase her husband's fitness for the presidency. In fact, the very existence of such long-term conditions makes me all the more eager to vote for Obama and Obamacare. (I love that term, because it symbolizes the fact that the Democrats CARE, whereas the other side does not.) Part of Obamacare is that it will make it impossible for insurance companies to refuse to accept you due to pre-exisiting conditions. The Romneys are so super-rich that they will always be able to afford medical treatment of any kind, with or without insurance. Most of the rest of us are not so fortunate. So people, vote for health: yours and that of the nation. Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 20, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
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