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. Logic N LA

    I wish Ann the best. What i will never understand is why these men with enough money to be by their wives side find it necessary to put their spouse and family through the rigors of an election or public office. Are their egos so big that these loved ones come second?

    October 21, 2012 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  2. Mailani

    Why does CNN and other media outlines run these SOB stories? It is a shame that people feel our vote is somehow swayed by someone's spouse and their health issues. Let's cut the melodramatic krap and concentrate on real issues that affect how our leaders govern. I do not really care about michelle obama or ann romney. I am not voting for them. I am voting for the individual with the most intelligence, sense of fairness, ability to tell the truth, and cares about 100 percent of the country. Ann Romney is a very wealthy woman and is better able to deal with her health issues than most of us. I have no empathy for her. So let's stop the melodrama 17 days before the election, CNN. Please act like a responsible news organization (use the antithesis of Fox as a model) and provide us the analysis to make informed decisions about our collective future.

    October 21, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  3. Martin in Seattle

    I am grateful that Mitt Romney's wife has had access to healthcare for her severe chronic illness. I am NOT going to vote for her husband who will take my healthcare access away by killing Obamacare. I have a wife too. Under Obamacare, private healthcare insurance is accessible. 

    October 21, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  4. DP

    While I sympathize with all MS affected humans, I simply cannot believe that Ann Romney would stoop to a new low. Just to buy her husband some "sob story" votes, she would sell her conscience and try to politicize her MS story? Rich people really really don't have a heart, and definitely lack a brain. I really question her and her entire family's integrity in this election.

    October 21, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  5. Jeb

    Ann Romney has the best health care money can buy.

    If her husband is elected, the first thing he'll do is deny 50 million Americans health care.

    October 21, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  6. Cathy

    Sad day when a candidate has to use his wife's debilitating disease to win votes. Just one more reason not to vote for this guy.

    October 21, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  7. Jodi

    A person can be a survivor of breast cancer because that can kill you. A person is not a survivor of Multiple Sclerosis, the disease does not kill. I'm so sick of "journalists" not checking their facts. I live with Multiple Sclerosis, my life expectancy is no different than an average person.
    Hopefully Ann Romney will help set facts straight about MS when she and her husband get to the White House!

    October 21, 2012 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  8. Frank Montgomery

    Yes, tell us all about your privilidged treatment in world class institutions, and the team of doctors you that follow you around. I can't afford my asthma medications, so I go without. My teeth need to be pulled, because I can't afford a dental program. I have cataracts in both eyes for years now, but no vision care. I would have to pay cash for laser surgery, but can't afford it. I'm a nurse who's taken care of thousand of people, men, women, children. I have devoted my life to helping and healing others, but I go without, because I lost my home, my job and my healthcare.

    October 21, 2012 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  9. Squigman

    Going for the sympathy vote? If this weren't election season, the ailment would have been swept under the rug.

    October 21, 2012 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  10. Paul

    If you've got enough money for therapeutic horses, you've never likely had to fight the insurance company when it claims your MRI, requested and ordered by your neurologist, wasn't necessary and now you get a nice happy extra $1500 on the bill.

    Ok, ya, you've got MS. I've got MS. I don't have the horses or the Warbucks grade medical care. With just the money your husband isn't paying in taxes you don't even need insurance, your health care can be bought straight up. If I lose my job, I lose my Avonex.

    October 21, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  11. MagEE

    Give me a break. Have had MS decades now. Had to work & I have, 10-12 hours a day – whether I felt like it or not. Weak, numb, fatigued – didn't matter. But here's a case where all it did was interfere with the little lady's tennis game. Feel like I'm gonna puke!!

    October 21, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  12. PHinMiami

    How pathetic. To garner attention, Ann must randomly remind everyone about MS. We get it, you're handicapped and probably get disability to go along with your parking placard. The dead soldier's families have request you stop using them as a ploy, now, back to MS.

    Anyone fool enough to vote for this clown deserves what will happen to them.

    October 21, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  13. dw

    i sympathize with her condition as my neighbor's young daughter. however, to use it this late in the game as a political play is shameful. even a rotten person, and/or a rotten person's wife, can come down with an illness. people should not be hoodwinked by this any other of the Romneys' tricks.

    October 21, 2012 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  14. Morning1Su,

    At least Ann Romney gets to stay home and don't have to work to support her family like average Americans. I have Sjogrene's Syndrome Disease(form of an anti immune disease) and chronic Asthma, and work at a nine hour a day job to make ends meet. I don't go around telling everyone about my condition because I don't want their pity. Thank God for President Obama for his understanding of women's equality in the work force. I sure want to stay home too, because I am in pain all day, but I need to do my share to support my family.

    October 21, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  15. Private Ryan

    How many times do we have to hear queen Ann's sickening story same old story? The Internet has been asking this question: does Ann really have MS? Did she ever have to show her medical records to the public?
    She acts as if she is the only person on this planet who suffers with MS. If she indeed does, why isn't Ann home mire resting than continually on the campaign trail

    Her story makes good press for CNN. That's about all.
    She tells the same old story over and over again.

    October 21, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  16. Jon

    You shouldn't be the first lady if you have MS; you need to be mentally and physically fit! Not mentally unfit and disabled to advise Mitt.

    October 21, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  17. susan

    A beautifl lady. She will represent us well.

    October 21, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  18. Jessica

    Got Romnesia?

    October 21, 2012 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  19. Kris

    Must be very, very nice for her that she didn't need health insurance. Now if she and her husband cold simply imagine themselves with these two medical conditions, but living in a blue collar world, or being a worker at the factory Mitt closed down.

    October 21, 2012 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  20. KB

    While I am truly glad she now enjoys good health, millions of Americans all across our great country suffer from serious illnesses with less than adequate medical insurance coverage OR none at all. Mrs. Romney never needed to even consider being denied medical care for a pre-existing condition !! Shouldn't ALL citizens have access to the very best medical treatment ?

    October 21, 2012 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  21. BD70

    We can get through anything together as long as its not fatal. Sounds like Mitt is nothing without Ann. So if he was elected and she had a relapse...would he be able to function?

    October 21, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  22. ficheye

    We've already heard Ann's story, not to make light of it. She's been through some hard times. But the timing of telling this story AGAIN when it's already been covered in the news several times, at least, seems like an attempt to pick up a few extra votes at this point in time.

    October 21, 2012 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  23. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Who cares? Your husband vows to repeal the ACA and he doesn't care that millions of American who can't afford skyrocketing healthcare costs will be dump at the wayside once more or the thousands of Americans who would continue to be discriminated against and be denied treatment because of preexisting conditions.

    October 21, 2012 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  24. NameGoose

    God Bless Her! She seems like such a nice lady. I hope she stays strong! I hope she beats MS and Cancer for good.

    October 21, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  25. Andreas Orth

    Please feel sorry for me and vote for my husband how disgusting

    October 21, 2012 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
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