Elizabeth Edwards Death, the estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards died of cancer Tuesday at her North Carolina home surrounded by her three children, siblings, friends and her estranged husband, John. She was 61. She and her family had announced Monday that doctors told her further treatment would do no good.
“Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth’s presence but she remains the heart of this family,” the statement said. “We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life. On behalf of Elizabeth we would like to express our gratitude to the thousands of kindred spirits who moved and inspired her along the way. Your support and prayers touched our entire family.”
Dr. Linda Vahdat, an oncologist and director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, said Edwards' public discussions about her diagnosis, illness and treatment have helped raise awareness. She said her breast cancer patients were talking of Edwards on Tuesday. "They're sad," Vahdat said. "People have always been rooting for her."
Edwards shared her life struggles in memoirs, and the events she held to promote them attracted women who confided how they dealt with hair loss from treatments or how her words helped them cope with lost children.
Ellen Schoenfeld, a breast cancer survivor in New York, said Edwards gave other people with cancer "the motivation to live their lives the way they would like to live them," she said. "People might think you need to change the way you live when you get a diagnosis like that, but she wanted to maintain a sense of normalcy, for her kids and for herself, too. I think she just wanted to live as normal a life as possible."