Wife of Former US Presidential Candidate, Elizabeth Edwards, dies at 61

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Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, listens as she is introduced at a meeting of community choice activists in Concord, New Hampshire April 30, 2007. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press

Elizabeth Edwards and her family had informed the public that she had weeks, if not days, left when they announced on Monday that doctors had told her that further treatment will do no good. Ever the public figure, Edwards thanked supporters on her Facebook page.

“The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered,” she wrote. “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.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of John Edwards‘ rivals for the Democratic nomination in 2008, said the country “has lost a passionate advocate for building a more humane and just society,” while the Edwardses’ family and friends “have lost so much more — a loving mother, constant guardian and wise counselor.”

“Our thoughts are with the Edwards family at this time, and with all those people across the country who met Elizabeth over the years and found an instant friend — someone who shared their experiences and offered empathy, understanding and hope,” Clinton said in a statement.

Vice President Joe Biden said Edwards “fought a brave battle against a terrible, ravaging disease that takes too many lives every day. She was an inspiration to all who knew her, and to those who felt they knew her.”

Kerry called her “an incredibly loving, giving and devoted mother” who fought cancer with “enormous grace and dignity.”

The Edwardses met in law school. Daughter Cate has followed her parents into a career in law. A son, Wade, was killed in a traffic accident when he was 16. Elizabeth Edwards had two more children later, giving birth to Emma Claire when she was 48 and Jack when she was 50.

The family asked that donations be made to the Wade Edwards Foundation, which benefits the Wade Edwards Learning Lab.