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

– Sparring over economy in weekly addresses


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

    She has MS and had breast cancer, but she is against stem cell research and so is her husband. Against stem cell research, but yet your son and his wife had a child via surrogacy. I think they need to be honest with America. They object to things, but yet reep the benifits.

    October 21, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  2. anonoymous

    Hope she votes for Obama because she has a pre existing condition and under Romney health care will be repealed. Pray she's better now but my vote is for Obama. She's not an effected campaign tool. I dont identify with her on any level. Her being a woman doesnt make her one of the girls She always looks so uptight and out of place. Mitt's the man of her house and cant understand why we dont feel the same. We are suppose to allow him to led no questions asked like he does in her home but we are not her. Mitt is better suited for a boardroom not the White House. She is better suited to be Mitt's wife not First Lady.

    October 21, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  3. Will C

    While I am sorry for Ann Romney to have to go through such difficult experiences, I wonder how her care would have been if she didn't have health insurance and a multimillionaire husband. It is great that Ann Romney is making MS and breast cancer big issues, but it is all for naught if she doesn't recognize that even diseases she hasn't gotten can cause suffering and need attention. That's why we need comprehensive health care systems, not just piecemeal projects. We need obamacare for the many Americans diagnosed with chronic illness who lose health insurance, or who are already uninsured. Those diseases can't be handled by emergency rooms, like Mitt Romney proposes, they require long-term care for better quality of life and treatment.

    October 21, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  4. musomesa

    If only she would say how blessed she is that they can afford the medical care. It sounds too much like it is about her, and her alone.

    October 21, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  5. Killbucket

    My wife survived Breast Cancer.
    And I'm not buying Ann's story.

    October 21, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  6. Ann_wins_at_all_costs

    Ann speaks better than Mitt and this is how she will help him win the women's votes and Florida – the deficit is irrelevant.

    October 21, 2012 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  7. Hugh Mann

    Great when you can pay for all those Doctors and don't have to go to work everyday...I wasn't that lucky
    you just gotta feel sorry for them rich people,,,all that suffering they do

    October 21, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  8. Roger

    Now we are supposed to feel guilty because she has been sick? Vote for her husband for her husband because she was sick? The fact that this is on cnn makes me sick.

    October 21, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  9. Gabriel

    What a phony.No doubt the mildest cases in medical history.If she weren't a multi-millionaire who never had to worry about affordable health insurance there would have been no early diagnosis and she would have died like my wife. Hurrah! for the privileged few who'll go on living long after we're all dead.

    October 21, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  10. Jack in Florida

    Talk about pandering for the sympathy vote......how pathetic!!!

    October 21, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  11. Ima Mused

    The title of this article should be "Ann Romney Shares Her MS Story Every Chance She Gets." Enough already, lady. We are all aware by now that you have MS. It does nothing to make your husband any more electable.

    October 21, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  12. Thought

    Well thank goodness Ann Romney has ready access to the best health care. It doesn't seem to occur to her that many others can't just 'go see the neurologist.'. Ann's greatest suffering seems to be balance problems that limit her ability to play tennis. She hasn't lost a job, she has staff to run her household, she has no stress, which exacerbates the symptoms of MS. Must be nice. This story is yet another desperate attempt to 'connects' with 'regular folk' and gain their sympathy. like when
    Ann told us how poor she and mitt uses to be. Poor Ann.

    October 21, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  13. HOwie76

    Her outcome was good because they have money. What about the middle class family that loses everything because of this disease. Once they stop working they have no insurance it is a preexisting condition which before Obama care would not be covered. Also, there are different levels of MS from mild to terminal. That is depends on what money can buy you.

    October 21, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  14. HOwie76

    MOney can buy you good health.

    October 21, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Let's just shamelessly trot our wife out to see if we can garner a sympathy vote. HOW DISGUSTING!!!!!

    October 21, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  16. Dahlimama

    Lets just bring the millionaire's trophy wife out with a sob story about how hard her life is when we all know she'll get the very best care money can buy. and have any and every hired maid and chauffer to help her get around. What about all the poor folks like a coworker of mine who struggles daily with MS and whom MITT'S role back of health care reform would cause horrible hardship. I don't want to hear word one from this cold calculating woman! I'll save my admiration for people who actually have a heart and feelings. I'm quite sure mrs Romney has never given one thought to what happened to the lives of the thousands of people her husband has fired over the years as long as the profits went into her Caiman Islands accounts.

    October 21, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  17. Tom Joad

    It is ironic and very troubling that Romney's wife has had serious medical issues, but Romney doesn't care that 50 million American's have no access to affordable health care. Romney's faimly members has avoided military service for generations but have supported and profited from war. There is a very unsettling pattern here.

    October 21, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  18. Tom

    So sick and tired of hearing angry ANN-toinette pathetically trying to sell alexithymic Mitt, who is nothing but an empty suit.

    October 21, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  19. Howie76

    Her outcome was good because they have money. What about the middle class family that loses everything because of this disease. Once they stop working they have no insurance it is a preexisting condition which before Obama care would not be covered. Also, there are different levels of MS from mild to terminal. That is depends on what money can buy you. It can buy your health.

    October 21, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  20. a.anitoli@myfairpoint.net

    Trying to make people feel sorry to get a vote! How pathetic.With her income bracket i could care less about her medical conditions!

    October 21, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  21. rs1201

    May G-d bless and keep Ann Romney in good health to enjoy her family...especially her 5 sons and their children...

    October 21, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  22. Maria

    I feel sorry for her, cancer and MS are terrible illnesses, but I am more sorry for the millions of people that are in the same conditions and cannot pay their medical bills. I hope she will be supporting Obama's health care plan, if her husband becomes president, so many people in the same condition will be able to pay for the medical bills. Because she has unlimited funds for paying for medicine, physical therapy, etc. but the poor and middle class will be in the ditch trying to survive.

    Of course If her husband becomes president, he will repeal Obama's health care and no person with those pre-existent conditions will be able to have health care again, but the truth is the Rommey and his wife do not care about the rest of us. They still will be able to pay for her medication, while many will have to decide if they will pay for the medical bills or for food.

    As a human being, I cannot support this couple

    October 21, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  23. Ann

    It's getting old.

    October 21, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  24. Jeff Naylor

    My Dad had MS.....he went to be with the Lord in 1978.....a few years ago I learned that I have MS.I tell people that
    I have MS.....MS does not have me. Without question it likes to remind me that it is a part of my crazy zany world and
    forced me to retire in my early 40's but I am not going to allow it to be victorious over me.

    October 21, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  25. rockloper

    Trying to get sympathy votes for Bush III

    October 21, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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