Former first lady, Pat Fordice, thanks well-wishers

Published 8:06 pm Friday, December 22, 2006

Former Mississippi first lady Pat Fordice has thanked well-wishers who have sent her letters and cards following her announcement that she is being treated for cancer.

Fordice, 71, made the announcement this past week during a call-in program on Jackson radio station WJNT-AM. She has declined to be interviewed about her treatment. She has not said what kind of cancer she has.

On Thursday, Fordice released a letter in which she said she has been overwhelmed by the response to her announcement.

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“The amount of mail I have received has been amazing. I have read each letter, note and card and been uplifted by the kind words you have shared,” Fordice wrote.

Fordice said her chemotherapy treatments at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson have been going well.

“I tire more easily than I am used to but am told by many of you who have gone through this treatment that this is normal,” she said. “I have even taken pride in the new look I am sporting — my hats and carefully tied scarves.”

Fordice asked for continued prayers “for all of us — young and old — facing illness this holiday season.”

In November 2005, Fordice resigned as the city of Jackson’s interim head of human and cultural services. At the time, Fordice said the full-time job was more demanding than she believes she could handle.

Fordice’s ex-husband, Kirk Fordice, served as governor from 1992-2000. The Fordices divorced in 2000 after 44 years of marriage. Kirk Fordice died of leukemia in 2004 at age 70.

Fordice was co-host of a program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. She also appeared in a series of commercials for Keep Mississippi Beautiful and the Mississippi Department of Transportation as part of its anti-littering campaign.