Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was hit with tragedy this week when his daughter-in-law, Rainè Riggs, passed away from a rare form of cancer.
She was just 48 years old, according to Newsweek.
According to her obituary, Riggs’ death came a mere two days after she was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. “Her last moment was spent with her No. 1 cheerleader, her mother, holding her hand and whispering in her ear how much she loved her,” it read.
Riggs is survived by three adopted children and her husband Levi Sanders, whom she met while volunteering at an emergency food bank.
Riggs’ death follows Sanders’ heart attack
Despite being a notoriously outspoken political candidate, Sen. Sanders has been very private when it comes to his family. Sanders’ son was born out of wedlock following the dissolution of his first marriage, according to Politico.
Levi Sanders works at a New Hampshire law firm assisting clients with Social Security claims and is heavily involved in his father’s campaign.
The tragic news came in the wake of Sanders’ heart attack last week, an event that prompted the candidate to suggest that he may begin to take things a bit slower on the campaign trail.
“We were doing, in some cases, five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings and meeting with groups of people. I don’t think I’m going to do that,” Sanders told reporters, according to TIME.
“But,” he went on, “I certainly intend to be actively campaigning. I think we’re going to change the nature of the campaign a bit. I’ll make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.
Candidate says he “misspoke”
On Wednesday, however, Sanders revised his remarks about the pace of his campaign going forward.
“I misspoke the other day. I said a word I should not have said and media drives me a little bit nuts to make a big deal about it,” Sanders said in an interview, according to NBC News. “We’re going to get back into the groove of a very vigorous campaign, I love doing rallies and I love doing town meetings.”
However, he conceded that his resumption of a schedule typical of someone seeking his party’s nomination for the presidency might need to happen somewhat gradually. “I want to start off slower and build up and build up and build up,” Sanders said.