Vice President Joe Biden bookended a quick trip to the Middle East with two appearances in Wilmington this week.
Biden left for Saudia Arabia on Wednesday after taking part in the Delaware Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration at the Chase Center in Wilmington Tuesday night. He returned to Wilmington from the Middle East Friday morning to honor his wife’s efforts to combat breast cancer through the Biden Breast Health Initiative.
Biden told a crowd at the Hotel du Pont, “All of us here today, we have for a long time shared the same dream. And that is to help the tens of millions of women and some men in America, and around the world, who have heard that dreaded phrase, literally, that dreaded phrase, ‘I’m afraid… I’m afraid you have breast cancer.'”
Biden says his wife’s desire to fight breast cancer is a personal one. “It was personal because friends of hers had suffered and had died. Jill amazes me every single day. It’s not only her passion, but her consistency, the consistency of her passion. The things that she decides that she wants to do something about, she has a tenacious way of just quietly and consistently, and without any interruption she does it.”
Jill Biden fought through laryngitis to thank her board and others who work with, and support, the initiative. “Aren’t we all here today because this is personal? I look across this room, and I know that you all agree. Far too many of us have lost a loved one to this disease, or seen a friend or a colleague endure a long battle with breast cancer. It’s personal.”
The Vice President told the group that when he first raised the issue of breast cancer when he was a Senator on the floor, he was reprimanded by the Senate parliamentarian who said he was not allowed to use the word ‘breast’ on the Senate floor. Biden says a lot has changed since those days, but there’s still a long way to go to end breast cancer.