Daley Cancels Travel Plans To Be With Ailing Wife

Updated 11/23/11 – 4:11 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Retired Mayor Richard M. Daley has canceled his travel schedule and speaking engagements to be with his ailing wife.

The former mayor’s press secretary, Jacquelyn Heard, confirmed Wednesday that Mr. Daley canceled a weeklong engagement as a visiting fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

He has also canceled the rest of his travel schedule, and speaking engagements for the rest of the year, Heard said.

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Daley’s wife, Maggie Daley, has been battling metastatic breast cancer since 2002. The retired mayor said recently that his wife had a difficult summer.

There was suspicion that things weren’t going well for Mrs. Daley when the Daleys’ daughter, Elizabeth “Lally” Daley moved up her wedding plans from New Year’s Eve to her birthday last Thursday, due to concerns about her mother’s health. Lally married her fiancé Sam Hotchkiss last week so that her mother could attend and fully enjoy the wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. Daley both walked Lally down the aisle, as she wore her mother’s wedding dress.

Although The Daley family said the wedding date was changed because they wanted celebrate at a time Maggie was well enough to enjoy it, a source close to the family said Wednesday that Mr. Daley’s decision to cancel his travel plans is “indicative of Maggie’s condition.”

The former first lady had seemed to bounce back from a hospital stay earlier this year – just as she’d done after previous hospital stays over the past decade – attending and speaking at one of the events during her husband’s farewell tour in May.

“I feel good. I feel good,” Maggie said in May. “I have a lot of challenges, but anybody who had cancer, has the same experiences. So, we’re a mighty group.

Last week, Mrs. Daley’s physician, Dr. Steven Rosen of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said there was no dramatic change in her condition, but he would not comment beyond that.

But sources said Wednesday that Maggie is now “resting at home,” and that she is “expected to remain there,” while she is visited by her doctors, thankful this Thanksgiving that she was able to enjoy Lally’s wedding last week.

Maggie remained at least somewhat active over the past year, appearing with her husband, as well as new Mayor Rahm Emanuel, showing her husband’s successor one of her beloved After School Matters programs this spring.

The last time Maggie was seen in public was just over two months ago, when she appeared onstage during an After School Matters gala.

Maggie Daley was, and is, a powerful symbol for those battling cancer and, through it all, has also remained devoted to the young people of Chicago.

The countless lives she’s touched in those dual roles are measures of the impact she’s had on the city and why she’s being remembered on Wednesday in many peoples’ prayers.

  • Tom

    Hang in there Maggie. Hang in there.

  • Jim Hamilton

    The Daleys have been a burden to this state long enough, may they please just go away

    • Roberta Waker

      The Daleys have done a lot of good for Chicago and the State, along with some things that weren’t so good; but they deserve to be treated with respect. No one deserves to die from cancer while their family watches helplessly, and this includes Maggie Daley, who did nothing to you. Judging from your comments, you sound like a very unhappy person that enjoys hearing anything bad about anyone and for that, I feel sorry for you. Hopefully something good will happen to you and you can enjoy Thanksgiving and find something to be thankful for, i.e., wonderful parents, family, friends, a job, etc. If you look at the glass as being half full instead of half empty you will feel a lot better about yourself.

      • Jim Hamilton

        Yeah well you don’t look at the full picture if im removing the contents from the glass then half empty would be positive way to look at it but close minded people like you think you have all of the answeres. Bottom line is the Daley family is why Chicago is an ever growing cesspool of crime. The Daley family is personally responsible.

      • Jim Hamilton

        Na they haven’t done anything but play modern day Al Capone and as far as cancer goes well everyone has to go from something. The sooner they get off my tax dollars the better off we’ll be and stop sticking up for these crooks you sound stupid everyone knows how crooked the whole Daley family has been and with any luck Richy won’t hang around to long either

  • Jim Hamilton

    I have a dream too

    DECATUR, Ill. (CBS) — A downstate lawmaker would like to kick Chicago and Cook County out of the Illinois.
    CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall says state Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Decatur) finds that Cook County dominates all politics and legislation in Springfield, and he thinks it is time for the state to cut its largest population center adrift for the “betterment” of the rest of Illinois.
    He says Cook County should be allowed to exist apart from the state like the District of Columbia, with its own government.

    Contact your local Reps to support this bill


  • Tom

    Hey, Jim Hamilton. Your a burden to me and I wish that you would just go away. Hope you choke on a turkey leg today.

    • Jim Hamilton

      ROFLMAO @ Tom see the choices I make in life do not affect you Tom but the Choices that Daley made were imposed upon my life there is a difference and reasons for the way I feel.

    • Jim Hamilton

      Hey Tom i didnt die yesterday but guess who did

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