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Gov. DeSantis plans to include $100 million in the 2022-23 budget for cancer research

Casey DeSantis
The Florida Channel
The Florida Channel
Casey DeSantis also offered words of encouragement to fellow cancer patients: “Just never give up. Don’t quit. Just keep fighting.”

Speaking at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, where she’s undergoing cancer treatment, first lady Casey DeSantis said funds would go to Moffitt, the Sylvester center in Miami and UF Health Cancer Center.

First lady Casey DeSantis announced Tuesday that Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to recommend including $100 million in his 2022-23 budget to go toward cancer research.

According to a news release, the funding would represent a nearly 60% increase over this year’s funding.

Speaking at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, where she’s undergoing breast cancer treatment, Casey DeSantis said the funds would go toward cancer treatment and research at three facilities in Florida: Moffitt, the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Florida Health Cancer Center.

“Florida offers some of the best cancer care and research in the nation, and I’m proud that we are proposing historic investments in our leading cancer centers,” Casey DeSantis said in the release. “While we increase this important funding, I also urge Floridians to go through appropriate cancer screenings. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in our state and now is not the time to delay care.”

She was joined at the roundtable meeting with state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and Moffitt representatives.

“Florida’s cancer institutes are critical in providing treatment that saves the lives of patients with cancer,” Ladapo said in the release. “This funding will also continue supporting advancements in cancer research and treatments that can potentially lead to new cures.”

According to the release, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the state since 2014, behind heart disease.

Dr. Patrick Hwu, Moffitt's president and CEO, said the funding “will allow us to bring teams and grant dollars to Florida to better support cutting edge discoveries, research and patient care, and make progress in the prevention and cure of cancer."

Casey DeSantis also offered words of encouragement to fellow cancer patients.

“Just never give up. Don’t quit. Just keep fighting,” she said. “Just because you get some bad news doesn’t mean you need to crawl into a hole and a tunnel and pull the wool over your head. Get out and do as much as you humanly can and try to make a difference and do what you know in your heart is right.”

The Legislature would still need to approve the governor’s request in the budget, which is expected to be announced this week.

Information from WFSU contributed to this report.

Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.