Florida Gov. DeSantis unveils new $100 million cancer research initiative

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) knows first-hand what it is like to deal with the scourge that is cancer, as his wife Casey DeSantis just recently survived a bout with breast cancer.

On Tuesday, Gov. DeSantis announced that he had approved a $100 million initiative passed by the legislature to fund cancer research in the state, Breitbart reported.

In addition to his wife’s recent battle with the disease, the outlet noted that DeSantis’ mother had also dealt with breast cancer when he was still a child, so there is perhaps a personal element in the governor’s desire to fund research toward an eventual cure or better treatments.

Funding for cancer research initiative approved

A press release from the governor’s office revealed that the $100 million initiative passed by the legislature for the next Fiscal Year was actually an increase of $37 million over what had already been designated for cancer research in the state’s current budget — an issue the state has been focused on since 2014 and the creation of the Florida Consortium of National Cancer Institute (NCI) Centers Program.

“Cancer remains a leading cause of death in Florida, and we will continue to support those fighting this deadly disease,” DeSantis said in a statement. “With this funding, cancer centers will continue their cutting-edge research and provide high-quality care to patients. Our family is grateful for the care that the First Lady received during her cancer treatment this past year, and we want to make quality care available for all Floridians.”

“I am incredibly proud to see this record funding secured for cancer patients, their families, and the facilities that serve them,” Florida’s first lady said in her own statement. “Early detection is a game-changer in the cancer fight. I encourage anyone reading this to be proactive about your health — it might just save your life.”

DeSantis touts new cancer research initiative in Miami

A news conference was also held at the University of Miami’s Health System center to announce the new $100 million cancer research initiative.

“If you look within the last eight years, we’ve been able to provide in the state of Florida care and treatment to hundreds of thousands of patients, educated almost 83,000 biomedical research trainees, which of course will make up the next generation of researchers,” DeSantis said, and noted that “pretty much everyone in Florida is touched by this disease in one way or another.”

Recounting his own personal experience of loved ones battling the disease, he continued, “You do not want these kids to ever have to lose a mother, particularly at those young ages. And so one of the things that comforted me was, you know, all the doctors and nurses that we dealt with when she was going through it, you know, they were on a mission. They’re like, there’s just no way we’re not going to have you around, you know, to help raise these kids and to be a mother to these kids.”

DeSantis added that his wife “provided a lot of inspiration to a lot of women throughout the state and really, even beyond that,” and added, “And I think the one thing I’ve learned is if you’re getting this diagnosis for breast cancer, it’s something that you can beat. It’s not easy. It’s a very difficult thing to have happen to anybody, but just have faith and really fight hard because the advances have been really significant. Obviously, we want to do more for a whole host of other types of cancers.”

Florida’s first lady expresses gratitude

Casey DeSantis also spoke at that news conference and thanked her husband for the support he had given her during her recent treatments as well as the state legislature for designating the funds to help others fight and win against the disease.

Florida is going to lead the way to find a definitive cure once and for all for all types of cancer, and it’s going to happen here because of this leadership. The leadership of the legislature,” the first lady said, and added, “Thank you for putting the money in the budget and the leadership of the governor for putting it in his recommended budget. That’s leadership that’s going to save lives.”

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