Elizabeth Edwards is an example and inspiration to millions of women. She endured horrific tragedies in the public eye. Edwards lost her son in a car accident, endured a life of politics and she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.
Edwards was a mother, attorney, author and health care advocate. Edwards was a modern-day Wonder Woman, of sorts, who overcame adversity in life. She was fighter. Some would say she was made of steel and even scrappy.
She lived a transparent life and wrote about how she handled a series of adversities in her life. After the death of her son, Edwards opted to have two more children at age 48 and 50. In 2005, she wrote a best-selling book, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers, which chronicled her battle for survival.
She never walked around like a victim, even though she had been unfairly victimized by her husband. Edwards didn’t fear death. She chose to spend the remainder of her days living. While she was ill, she testified before Congress for better health care for all Americans. While undergoing chemotherapy, Edwards attended the funeral of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who shared the commitment to universal healthcare. In September, she did a press junket for her book Resilience and participated in the ʺStand Up to Cancerʺ television event. According to news reports, Edwards continued cancer treatments until doctors told her there was nothing else the treatments could do for her.
Many would criticize Edwards for being blunt and tough. But, she played a leading role in pushing for policies on universal access to healthcare.
President Barack Obama said in a statement, "In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain. Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up. But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration."
When her breast cancer returned, Edwards said it was another hurdle. She always looked for the silver lining in life.