Former first family battles cancer

Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 23:14:39-04

A new health scare for the family of the longest serving Governor in Wisconsin: A third woman in the former governor's family has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

"My mother died from breast cancer, I had breast cancer, and now both of my daughters do, so it really is generational." said Sue Ann Thompson, founder of the Wisconsin Women's Health Network.

The former first lady and her daughter Tommi are breast cancer survivors. Sue Ann was diagnosed 23 years ago, and Tommi 12 years ago when she was only 33.

Daughter and sister Kelli underwent a bilateral mastectomy 2 weeks ago.

"It was a total surprise, but she's doing extremely well...they found it at the very beginning through an MRI." Sue Ann Thompson said.

"I went to all of her appointments with her. I was able to tell her what the next step was going to be," adds sister Tommi Thompson. 

Sue Ann and Tommi presented $70,000 in grants to Marquette University researchers from the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation.

Sue Ann Thompson founded the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation. Tommi now runs it. Both have been working on behalf of women's health for two decades promoting breast cancer education, research and awareness.

The good news is that the prognosis looks great for Kelli.

"I don't think she's going to have any after treatment. Definitely not radiation but probably not even chemo," Sue Ann Thompson said.

How is former Governor Tommy Thompson dealing with the latest health challenge?

"He definitely shows a lot of interest, Kelli says to the point of sometimes being embarrassing," Sue Ann Thompson quips.