Bernie Sanders’ Daughter-in-Law Dies 3 Days After She Was Diagnosed With Cancer

October 8, 2019 Updated: October 10, 2019

Rainè Riggs, the daughter-in-law of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), died just days after being diagnosed with cancer, it was reported. She was 46.

The Lee & Martin Funeral Home in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, confirmed that she died on Oct. 6, which was the day Sanders went back to his home state of Vermont after suffering a heart attack.

She was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer just days before her passing.

“Raine, a truly selfless person, was always heavily involved in working with the homeless, especially homeless veterans. While working at an emergency food shelter in Vermont, she met and married her husband, Levi Sanders,” who is the son of the longtime senator who ran for a congressional seat in 2018.

Senator Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa, on Aug. 20, 2019. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The obituary said Riggs became ill three weeks ago and left the hospitals “stumped,” and she was later “diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer.”

She died about two days later, it said.

Riggs was a neuropsychologist, and she met Levi Sanders while the two worked at an emergency food shelter in Vermont, the obituary said.

It added: “I don’t know how our family will ever get over this loss as she was loved so much. I do know that we will continue on because we have to … we promised her we would. We promised to love her children every day as if they were our own. We promised to take them on great adventures; to take as many pictures as we could; to live every day as if it were the last; to share in their heartaches, and celebrate their achievements. We promised this to her, and so we will do it, and hopefully, every day, the pain will become a little less. It is what she wanted.”

The obituary said Riggs was the director of behavioral medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and also began a Palliative Care Department at Dartmouth Medical Center.

Riggs also owned Riggs Geriatric Psychology in Windsor, Vermont, the obituary noted.

Sanders Speaks on Heart Attack

On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders said he was “dumb” for ignoring symptoms of a heart attack.

bernie sanders campaign
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses while speaking at a campaign event at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. Sept. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter)

“I must confess that I was dumb. I was born, and thank god, I have a lot of energy,” Sanders told reporters outside his home in Vermont.

“During this campaign, I’ve been doing, in some cases, three or four rallies a day running all over the state, Iowa, New Hampshire, wherever. And yet I, in the last month or two, just was more fatigued than I usually have been. So, and I should have listened to those symptoms …” he continued.

“So, if there’s any message that I hope we can get out there, is that I want people to pay attention to their symptoms. And you know, when you’re hurting, when you’re fatigued, when you have pain in your chest, listen to it,” he added.

Epoch Times reporter Janita Kan contributed to this report.

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