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Elizabeth Edwards & the Arc of Cancer

Elizabeth Edwards at the "Stand Up To Cancer" event in Calif., Sept., 2010. (AP)

For Elizabeth Edwards, it was difficult and merciless on all sides of life.

Her teenaged son killed in a car crash. Her body, attacked, and attacked again by cancer. Her famous politician husband, John Edwards, leaning deeply on her and then infamously stepping out, secretly fathering a child with another woman.

And through it all, Elizabeth Edwards looked for grace and hope and championed resilience. Yesterday, at home in North Carolina, the cancer finally killed her. But the inspiration she gave was public, real, and lasting.

We remember the grace of Elizabeth Edwards.

-Tom Ashbrook

**Listen back to On Point’s interview with Elizabeth Edwards in 2006.

Guests:

Eleanor Clift, contributing editor to Newsweek and author of, “Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Politics.” You can read an excerpt, and hear her conversation with On Point about the book.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, cancer physician and researcher. He is author of the new book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.” Read an excerpt.

On Monday, Elizabeth Edwards posted her last Facebook message:

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel towards everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.

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