Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis Joins Her Husband in Helping with Hurricane Ian Recovery

Ron DeSantis’ wife, Casey, has stepped in to help with Hurricane Ian response and relief in Florida as the couple is thrust further into the spotlight amid rumors of potential national ambitions.

The first lady of the Sunshine State, who was cleared for breast cancer earlier this year, announced that the Florida Disaster Fund raised more than $1.5 million in less than 24 hours.

During a news conference with her husband Thursday morning about the state’s response to the destruction so far from the Category 4 hurricane, Casey, 42, took the microphone to pledge her commitment to removing obstacles for residents and businesses receive funds to help them recover from storm damage.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno “confirmed” the deaths to be in the “hundreds.”

‘People across the state and country have taken a big step in supporting our Florida Disaster Fund. So far, in less than 24 hours since we launched the fund, we have raised $1.6 million,” Ms. DeSantis announced.

He also said he is in constant contact with those who will help distribute the funds and get them to people in need.

“Thank you for stepping up and please continue to do so,” he said.

President Joe Biden, 79, also spoke with Governor DeSantis, 44, on Thursday morning after approving a “major disaster declaration” overnight.

Florida’s first couple has moved into the spotlight, with many Republicans saying they want to see Florida’s governor run for president in 2024 or 2028. Some have even expressed a preference for DeSantis as a candidate over former President Donald Trump.

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis (center) took the microphone at a news conference with her husband Governor Ron DeSantis (over her shoulder) on Thursday to assure residents that she will work to make sure the more than $1.6 million in donated aid are distributed properly and quickly

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis (center) took the microphone at a news conference with her husband Governor Ron DeSantis (over her shoulder) on Thursday to assure residents that she will work to make sure the more than $1.6 million in donated aid are distributed properly and quickly

The first Florida couple married in September 2010 and they share three children: two daughters, Madison (center) and Mamie (left), and a son, Mason (right).  Governor DeSantis announced that Casey was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and in March 2022 he announced that she was cancer free.  Mamie was the first baby born at the Florida Governor's Mansion in more than 50 years

The first Florida couple married in September 2010 and they share three children: two daughters, Madison (center) and Mamie (left), and a son, Mason (right).  Governor DeSantis announced that Casey was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and in March 2022 he announced that she was cancer free.  Mamie was the first baby born at the Florida Governor's Mansion in more than 50 years

The first Florida couple married in September 2010 and they share three children: two daughters, Madison (center) and Mamie (left), and a son, Mason (right). Governor DeSantis announced that Casey was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and in March 2022 he announced that she was cancer free. Mamie was the first baby born at the Florida Governor’s Mansion in more than 50 years

Jill Casey DeSantis, the full name of Florida's first lady, was previously a news and television talk show host.  She hosted shows on the Golf Channel early in her career and was a local newscaster and host for WJXT, an independent station in Jacksonville, Florida.  She also created a roundtable panel talk show The Chat in 2014 and hosted the daily local talk show First Coast Living as well as The American Dream.  She also won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award and was called "one of the most recognizable faces in Jacksonville TV' by Florida Politics in 2018

Jill Casey DeSantis, the full name of Florida's first lady, was previously a news and television talk show host.  She hosted shows on the Golf Channel early in her career and was a local newscaster and host for WJXT, an independent station in Jacksonville, Florida.  She also created a roundtable panel talk show The Chat in 2014 and hosted the daily local talk show First Coast Living as well as The American Dream.  She also won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award and was called "one of the most recognizable faces in Jacksonville TV' by Florida Politics in 2018

Jill Casey DeSantis, the full name of Florida’s first lady, was previously a news and television talk show host. She hosted shows on the Golf Channel early in her career and was a local newscaster and host for WJXT, an independent station in Jacksonville, Florida. She also created a roundtable panel talk show The Chat in 2014 and hosted the daily local talk show First Coast Living as well as The American Dream. She also won a regional Suncoast Emmy Award and Florida Politics called her “one of the most recognizable faces on Jacksonville television” in 2018.

Hurricane Ian, which DeSantis described as a “once in a 500-year” event, has further propelled the pair onto the national stage as all eyes turn to Florida as the formidable Category 4 storm made landfall on Wednesday.

The governor’s office released an update Thursday night showing the fund has raised more than $10 million since it launched the day before and includes some big-name contributors like Walmart, which put up $1.5 million, Amazon, which contributed $1 million, and Boeing, whose donation reached $750,000.

“We are grateful to First Lady Casey DeSantis for her continued leadership and everyone who has contributed to the Florida Disaster Fund,” said Volunteer Florida Executive Director Josie Tamayo.

“The number of donations received is a true testament to Florida’s resilience,” he added.

The first lady of Florida said: ‘We are very grateful and appreciative of the outpouring of support. Raising more than $10 million in one day for the Florida Disaster Fund demonstrates the kindness and compassion of people across this state and nation.’

‘These private sector contributions will be implemented quickly and effectively to meet the immediate needs of those most affected by the storm. We can’t thank people enough for their generosity.’

Hurricane Ian hit Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, leaving 'hundreds' dead and causing at least millions in destruction.  The Florida Disaster Fund raised $1.6 million in less than 24 hours after launch, Casey DeSantis said.  Pictured: A man cleans up after Hurricane Ian, which brought 150 mph winds, flooding and an 18-foot wall of water in some areas.

Hurricane Ian hit Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, leaving 'hundreds' dead and causing at least millions in destruction.  The Florida Disaster Fund raised $1.6 million in less than 24 hours after launch, Casey DeSantis said.  Pictured: A man cleans up after Hurricane Ian, which brought 150 mph winds, flooding and an 18-foot wall of water in some areas.

Hurricane Ian hit Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, leaving ‘hundreds’ dead and causing at least millions in destruction. The Florida Disaster Fund raised $1.6 million in less than 24 hours after launch, Casey DeSantis said. Pictured: A man cleans up after Hurricane Ian, which brought 150 mph winds, flooding and an 18-foot wall of water in some areas.

Ron DeSantis, then a naval officer at Naval Station Mayport, met his now-wife on a golf course. They married in September 2010 and share two daughters, Madison and Mamie, and a son, Mason.

Governor DeSantis announced his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis in October 2021. On March 3, 2022, he announced that after treatment and surgery, she was declared cancer-free.

Two months after her cancer was cleared, DeSantis took to the campaign trail with her husband joining him in May for a so-called “DeSantis Day” at The Villages, a senior community, in Sumter County, Florida.

“Governor, I don’t know if this sounds like a first lady, but it feels good to be here,” she said after being greeted onstage by her husband. ‘Let me tell you this, no matter what you’re going through in life, no matter how difficult things seem, no matter how difficult it feels like if you have to pick yourself up off the ground, or if you feel like your back is against the wall, fight ! Fight like hell!

“There are no words to express how truly blessed, grateful and honored I am to hear the words cancer free,” Casey said at the time. ‘For those who are in the struggle, know that there is hope. Have faith and stay strong.

In early August, it introduced Florida Cancer Connect, which is a program and online tool focused on bringing cancer treatment information to Floridians directly from others within the state who have experienced it.

Governor DeSantis (second from right) hasn't exactly aligned himself with Donald Trump (second from left), but he has also engaged in a delicate balancing act in that he hasn't distanced himself from the 45th president either.

Governor DeSantis (second from right) hasn't exactly aligned himself with Donald Trump (second from left), but he has also engaged in a delicate balancing act in that he hasn't distanced himself from the 45th president either.

Governor DeSantis (second from right) hasn’t exactly aligned himself with Donald Trump (second from left), but he has also engaged in a delicate balancing act in that he hasn’t distanced himself from the 45th president either.

The DeSantis could become the nation's next first family, as rumors point to Governor DeSantis having national ambitions and his name appearing as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2024 or 2028. Some Republicans surveyed even said they would prefer a DeSantis presidency to another Trump.  finished

The DeSantis could become the nation's next first family, as rumors point to Governor DeSantis having national ambitions and his name appearing as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2024 or 2028. Some Republicans surveyed even said they would prefer a DeSantis presidency to another Trump.  finished

The DeSantis could become the nation’s next first family, as rumors point to Governor DeSantis having national ambitions and his name appearing as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2024 or 2028. Some Republicans surveyed even said they would prefer a DeSantis presidency to another Trump. finished

Florida is the state with the second highest number of newly diagnosed cancer cases.

While Governor DeSantis hasn’t exactly aligned himself with Trump, he hasn’t distanced himself from the 45th president either.

The first couple from Florida appeared at Trump’s rally in Estero, Florida, in October 2018.

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