SUSIE Cleverly is married to new Home Secretary James Cleverly after having met at university.
The politician's wife was diagnosed with cancer while her husband was working in the Foreign office, and has been open about her ongoing battle with the disease.
Who is James Cleverly's wife Susie?
The pair met at university and have been together ever since.
Susie helped her husband throughout his political career as he moved from Foreign Secretary to Home Secretary, taking the job after Suella Braverman's sacking.
James revealed he "couldn't speak" after his wife's diagnosis with cancer.
He told Sky News: “I haven't thought about my mortality, and certainly haven't ever really given any thought to losing Susie, or what that might feel like — and then suddenly you get to confront that. And, we are close.”
When was Susie diagnosed with cancer?
Susie Cleverly was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2021.
She had spotted dimpled skin underneath her right breast just a month before she was diagnosed.
When Susie found out that she was suffering from such illness, she admitted that she "just burst into tears" and "cried most of that day."
She added: "I just couldn't get the words out."
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Susie had eight mammograms in one day but doctors couldn't detect anything until one scan showed three lumps in her breast and a node in her arm.
After an MRI scan, the doctors found 12 lumps.
She said: "I wasn't scared when they told me that.
"I think the most frightening thing was the word 'cancer', so as soon as I was on board with having cancer, I just thought I'm going to get on with it."
Susie had a mastectomy while still having immunotherapy to reduce the risk of recurrence while she's on the waiting list for reconstructive surgery.
Speaking to the Daily Express, she shared that her fight with cancer has made her appreciate how fragile life is.
She said: "I now realise how the things we take for granted are so precious – time with family and friends – I want to make the most of every minute with James and the children."
What has James Cleverly said about Susie?
James Cleverly found it very difficult to deal with the fact that his wife had a serious illness.
He even admitted that there were a "couple of times" he thought he might be losing his wife.
He said: "I had to ring my private secretary in the Foreign Office saying 'can you cancel meetings because I need to go home', and he said 'is everything okay minister?'
"I tried to say Susie might have cancer, I just couldn't get the words out, I couldn't speak – I like to talk, but I just couldn't speak.
"I went home, Susie and I talked it through, and I tried to ring [work] again to explain what was going on – and I still couldn't say a word."
He admitted at stages he feared he might lose his wife, saying: “There have been a couple of times when I had to think about that.
"I hadn’t thought about my own mortality and I certainly hadn’t ever really given any thought to losing Susie, or what that might feel like, and then suddenly you’ve got to confront that.”
The support from their family and friends played a major part in them keeping strong and going through the difficult experience.
The Home Secretary added: "There was this massive wave of empathy and friendship, even from people I didn't even know particularly well, that was really touching."
Cleverly also said that if he was offered the position of foreign secretary earlier in the year while his wife was going through chemotherapy, he would have rejected the offer.
He said: "Had I been asked perhaps six or seven months ago when you went through chemo, I don't think I would have been able to give it the energy and the focus I think the job deserves.
"She's always been very, very supportive of me and my career.
"And I do travel a lot. I think the big thing from this is, I think both of us, maybe me, I'm less blase about the time we do have together.
"So when we are together, we're very, very conscious of making that time really valuable and really meaningful."
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Do James and Susie Cleverly have any children?
The pair have been married for 30 years, and have two children.
Their sons are called Freddy and Rupert.
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