The last words of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) daughter-in-law were revealed as it was also disclosed in an obituary what her cause of death was.
Sanders hasn’t publicly issued a comment about the passing of Raine Riggs, 46.
“Her last words were to tell her children how much she loved them and she was so sorry that she got sick,” Riggs’ family wrote in an obituary. “Her last moment was spent with her No. 1 cheerleader, her mother, holding her hand and whispering in her ear how much she loved her.”
Riggs had been feeling unwell for several weeks but none of her doctors knew the reason why, according to the obituary.
However, days later, they revealed that she had neuroendocrine cancer. Several days later, she was dead.
Riggs and Levi Sanders, the son of the longtime senator who himself ran for office in New Hampshire, had three children together, her family said.
“From the first moment she held them in her arms, her entire world changed,” according to her obituary. “Raine’s every thought was of her children. She truly strived to make every day of their lives special.”
Her family added: “She made sure the summer was filled with little trips and never wasted a day,” her family said. They would go berry-picking, gathering sweet treats for all-day baking sessions. She also “loved” to travel to festivals with the kids, whom she “always allowed … to pick the weekend adventures.”
Riggs was a neuropsychologist, and she met Levi while the two worked at an emergency food shelter in Vermont, according to the obituary.
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.”
Riggs owned Riggs Geriatric Psychology in Windsor, Vermont, the obituary noted. She also was the director of behavioral medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and also began a Palliative Care Department at Dartmouth Medical Center.
Other details about her death are not clear.
According to the Mayo Clinic, neuroendocrine cancer starts “in specialized cells called neuroendocrine cells. Neuroendocrine cells have traits similar to those of nerve cells and hormone-producing cells.”
The tumors are rare and can occur anywhere.
“There are many types of neuroendocrine tumors. Some grow slowly and some grow very quickly. Some neuroendocrine tumors produce excess hormones (functional neuroendocrine tumors). Others don’t release hormones or don’t release enough to cause symptoms (nonfunctional neuroendocrine tumors),” the website says.