Casey DeSantis highlights governor’s $100M proposal for cancer centers during Jacksonville visit

Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed investment in cancer research from state’s budget

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis on Thursday visited Nemours Specialty Care Clinic in Jacksonville, speaking about childhood cancer in a roundtable discussion.

Her visit comes just days after she received her final round of chemotherapy treatment in her fight against breast cancer.

“I feel great,” she told the room.

During her visit, she spoke of a proposal by her husband, Gov. Ron DeSantis, for a $100 million initiative toward cancer centers in the state’s budget.

“That’s a 60% increase over the previous year’s funding,” Casey DeSantis said. “And we believe that that would not only set Florida apart, but obviously it would lead to a lot of innovation, new research and a lot of care for a lot of families who unfortunately have been touched by cancer.”

Simone Marstiller, with the Agency for Health Care Administration, attended the roundtable.

“We know that research, that additional funding that the governor is recommending, is going to go an amazingly long way,” Marstiller said.

The first lady, a young mother -- especially excited to hear from Joli Craver, a specialist who makes sure the youngest patients still feel like children.

“I can come in and kind of read the room for a kid, like how scared is he? How confused is he? How overwhelmed are they and kind of go from there,” Craver said. “Help them navigate the whole disease process that’s so much for their emotional wellbeing during some very scary times.”

During her visit, Casey DeSantis presented the First Lady’s Medal for Courage, Commitment and Service to Craver.


About the Author:

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.