EXCLUSIVE: Florida first lady Casey DeSantis surprised guests at the Hernando County Republican Party Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner Saturday with her first public appearance since Gov. Ron DeSantis revealed her breast cancer diagnosis earlier this month.

"Probably the most important person that has stood by me is our wonderful first lady," the Republican governor said during a speech at the dinner before revealing the surprise that the first lady was in attendance. "I trust in the Lord, I know how tough she is. She's doing very well. In fact, she's doing so well that she wanted to come here tonight and say hello to you, so here she is."

Video obtained exclusively by Fox News shows the crowd rise and give a standing ovation as the first lady makes her way on the stage and embraces the governor.


"I hear when you get a standing ovation before you even walk in the door you should probably just leave," the first lady said after taking the microphone from the governor.

The first lady went on to say that there are plenty of things to be upset and sad about when it comes to the direction of the country, but said that she was "sure as hell not giving up."

DeSantis family

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, first lady Casey DeSantis and their three children (left to right) Mamie, Madison, and Mason (Florida governor's office)

"Never ever ever give up the fight," the first lady continued to cheers from the crowd.

The governor announced earlier this month that his 41-year-old wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, saying she would have the full support of her family while she faces the challenge.

"I am saddened to report that Florida’s esteemed first lady and my beloved wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer," the governor said in a statement.

(Fox News Digital obtains exclusive photo from DeSantis)


"Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up," the governor said.

"As the mother of three young children, Casey is the centerpiece of our family and has made an impact on the lives of countless Floridians through her initiatives as first lady. As she faces the most difficult test of her life, she will have not only have my unwavering support but the support of our entire family, as well as the prayers and well wishes from Floridians across our state. Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up," he concluded.