Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, died today (Dec. 7), following a six-year battle with breast cancer. Elizabeth was 61.
Elizabeth, who went public just yesterday (Dec. 6) with news that her breast cancer had spread to her liver and bones, died in her Chapel Hill, N.C., home with her estranged husband John, 57, by her side, reports North Carolina’s WRAL News.
Also with her were her daughter Cate, a Washington attorney, two younger children and other family and friends.
On Monday, Edwards posted the following Facebook message to her friends:
“I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that.”
Doctors discovered Elizabeth’s cancer had spread to her liver and bones, and she was briefly hospitalized over the Thanksgiving weekend. Edwards had recently decided to end treatment because it was futile given how much her cancer had spread.
Edwards concluded her Facebook post with a gracious goodbye:
“It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know. With love, Elizabeth.”
Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer and treated in 2004. Three years later, the cancer returned and spread to other parts of her body.
She wrote two best-selling books, “Resilience” and “Saving Graces,” about her long battle with cancer and the scandal surrounding her husband, a wealthy trial lawyer who served as a U.S. senator from North Carolina and twice ran for president.
Elizabeth Edwards was born Mary Elizabeth Anania on July 3, 1949, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Her father was a Navy pilot, and in her early years, she attended school in Japan.
She attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and met her future husband while studying at UNC’s law school.