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Ann Romney has made no secret of the health issues she's battled, including multiple sclerosis, a chronic auto-immune disease that attacks the central nervous system made worse with fatigue and stress -- two things there are plenty of on a presidential campaign. MS can cause numbness in its victim's limbs, as well as paralysis and blindness. While it's a disease that many can manage, it's not something to be taken lightly.
Most of the attention about Ann Romney recently has been the result of the latest "mommy wars" dust-up and whether she's ever "worked a day in her life." But as the GOP's so-called secret weapon for the campaign, and the woman who seems to be one of the few who can put an empathetic face on her husband, what happens if she has another relapse, as she did during Super Tuesday campaigning? Ann recently disclosed her most recent brush with MS symptoms, which she described as being unable to walk or talk. She seems to be doing well now, but things are only going to get more heated, and the campaign will surely look to her for more bolstering of her husband, especially with women voters.
Will she be able to keep up the pace and garner the support for her husband from women voters that he needs? The approximately 400,000 Americans who suffer from MS know how important it is to keep their lives under control to prevent, if possible, the most severe effects of the disease. Whether Ann Romney can successfully manage her MS and at the same time be the political wife her husband needs in a contentious election season might be an overly ambitious goal.
You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!