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Elizabeth Edwards gravely ill

Posted December 6, 2010

— Elizabeth Edwards' cancer has spread, and her health has deteriorated, her family said in a statement Monday.

Edwards, 61, the estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, was briefly hospitalized recently, but she is now at home, where her family and friends, including John Edwards, are lending their support.

"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," Edwards wrote in a message posted Monday on her Facebook page. "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."

Edwards was first diagnosed with cancer in the final weeks of the 2004 presidential campaign, when her husband, who was at the time a U.S. senator from North Carolina, was the Democratic nominee for vice president. The couple didn't disclose her illness until after the election.

The cancer went into remission after months of treatment, but it resurfaced in early 2007, as John Edwards was mounting a second run at the White House. The Edwardses agreed at the time that they wouldn't allow the cancer to derail his candidacy.

Elizabeth Edwards' cancer has spread Elizabeth Edwards' cancer has spread

Because the cancer had moved into her bones in 2007, her doctors said at that time that it was no longer curable but could be treated.

Doctors now have recommended she not receive further treatment, according to the statement from her family.

Elizabeth Edwards has written two books about how she has overcome adversity in her life, "Resilience" and "Saving Graces."

She and her husband separated about a year ago after more than 30 years of marriage. The split followed John Edwards' affair with a campaign staffer.

The couple has four children: Wade, who died in a vehicle wreck in 1996; Cate, a lawyer in Washington, D.C.; and Emma Claire, 12, and Jack, 10, who both live in Chapel Hill with their mother.

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  • Unfair Moderators Stink Dec 7, 4:51 p.m.

    She has passed away. Shame on those of you who chose to be unkind and extremely insensitive. Condolences and prayers for comfort to her family and friends.

  • sunshinegal0726 Dec 7, 3:20 p.m.

    I'm appalled at some of these comments. What matters right now is that a woman, a mother, is tragically losing her battle with cancer. My prayers are with the family.

  • Doctor Dataclerk Dec 7, 2:48 p.m.

    Trying to raise this woman to sainthood by the lapping on of praise is ridiculous. Yes, it's sad anyone and any family has to be striken with cancer and it's sad that these children will have no mother soon (one of the worst possible things any child could ever have to deal with). But this woman lied about and for her husband so she could get her egotistical self in the Whitehouse. She didn't care what a lowlife he was, what a lowlife he would be as President, she wanted in at any cost. I wish no ill for her, but cut out pumping her up to be akin to Mother Teresa.

  • yorky1966 Dec 7, 2:31 p.m.

    Sincere prayers for Mrs. Edwards. Praying for strength and comfort for her children during what is surely a very difficult time.

  • gunsmoke1 Dec 7, 2:23 p.m.

    What is needed now is prayers for the family, discussions of the past should be just that in the past. This family is not defined by John Edwards' mistakes or politics but that at one time they were devoted to each other. Fame has a nasty way of hurting relationships some can overcome it and some can't. Now however with still two young children respect by the public for their situation is paramount.

  • bowhunterjunkie Dec 7, 2:22 p.m.

    Wildcat-Not sure if you actually do or not, but what kind of church do you go to. If you do go, you should be showing gratitude NOT attitude. You are making yourself look stupid! Am I a christian YES, attend services every time the doors are open, but you are ridiculous!! My sincere thoughts and prayers are with the entire Edwards family!!!!!

  • cad Dec 7, 1:51 p.m.

    The important issue is Elizabeth Edwards is losing her battle with cancer. It doesn't make any difference in the end what happened in politics, the marriage, etc. Ms. Edwards and her family needs our prayers.

  • anne53ozzy Dec 7, 1:29 p.m.

    Her grace and dignity should be the topic here. What happened in a marriage is a matter for the family to resolve, not the public. My heart goes out to the children.

  • pebbles262004 Dec 7, 1:16 p.m.

    WILDCAT..it seems is talking out of both size of his mouth today..

  • pebbles262004 Dec 7, 1:05 p.m.

    Kenneth B..very well said

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