Betty Ford

When other women have this same operation, it doesn’t make any headlines. But the fact that I was the wife of the President put it in headlines and brought before the public this particular experience I was going through. It made a lot of women realize that it could happen to them. I’m sure I’ve saved at least one person maybe more.

Isn’t that wonderful? When we drove through several of the places we lived – Grand Rapids, Washington – they all had those placards. That they stood by the street and had in their hands placards that said ‘Gerald Our Ford’. That meant so much to us as we were driving into Washington.

I think it wasn’t so much that the White House altered me in any essential way as that I found the resources with which to respond to a series of challenges. You never know what you can do until you have to do it. In the beginning, it was like going to a party you’re terrified of, and finding out to your amazement that you’re having a good time.