WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Edwards has died of breast cancer, according to a family friend.
The 61-year-old estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards died at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C., Tuesday morning, the friend said this afternoon.
The family issued a statement Monday that said doctors told her that further treatment for her cancer would be unproductive, and the family friend further described Edwards' condition to The Associated Press.
The friend said Edwards was hospitalized briefly last week and received treatment, but doctors told her that she may only have up to a couple months of life left. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity because of the personal details divulged.
John Edwards and their three children were at her side at the Chapel Hill home, the friend reported. Her sister, brother, nieces, nephews, and other loved ones were also there. The friend said she was not in pain and in good spirits despite the seriousness of her condition.
Edwards, a popular figure among Democratic activists as she campaigned with her husband in two presidential bids, posted on her Facebook page that she can't express the love and gratitude she feels to those who've supported and inspired her. "The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered," she wrote.
Edwards separated from her husband after he admitted to an extramarital affair and fathering a child with mistress Rielle Hunter. Edwards has battled breast cancer since 2004, diagnosed in the final days of the campaign when her husband was the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
The John Kerry-John Edwards ticket lost to incumbent President George W. Bush. John Edwards launched a second bid for the White House in 2007. The Edwards pair decided to continue the campaign after doctors told Elizabeth that her cancer had spread, but he lost the nomination to Barack Obama.
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