Santorum: Daughter's Health Key Before Deciding on WH Run

Wednesday, 30 Mar 2011 04:04 PM

By Andra Varin

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Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says his young daughter’s health will be a deciding factor in whether he makes a run for the White House. Santorum cut short a trip to New Hampshire on Tuesday because Isabella, who turns 3 in May, is ill.

The youngster was born with the genetic disorder trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome. The condition occurs in about 1 in every 3,000 live births, and less than 10 percent of patients make it to their first birthdays, according to the Trisomy 18 Foundation. A very few live into their 20s and 30s.

Santorum said he expects to decide within the next few months whether he seek the Republican nomination for president. He said he must weigh the effects a campaign would have on all seven of his children, especially Isabella.

"It actually weighs in my mind both ways," he told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. "Obviously she's fragile, we don't know how long we're going to have her and we appreciate every day we do have her. She's a great blessing."

He said his daughter’s ailment also inspires him to fight because “I know how society looks at little children like Bella.”


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