Rainè Riggs, 46, the daughter-in-law of politician Bernie Sanders, 78, passed away after a short battle with cancer on Oct. 5. The wife of Bernie’s son Levi Sanders, 50, was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer just two days before her passing after becoming ill two weeks ago, according to her obituary. Her shocking death also comes the same day Bernie returned to his home state of Vermont after suffering chest pains, which later turned out to be a heart attack, during a 2020 presidential campaign stop in Nevada on Oct. 1. Here are five things you should know about Rainè and her life.
1.) She was a neuropsychologist. She owned Riggs Geriatric Psychology in Windsor, Vermont at the time of her death, her obituary stated. She also worked as the director of behavioral medicine at Dartmouth Medical School for several years after attending Brown and Harvard.
2. She first met husband Levi while working at an emergency food shelter in Vermont. They went on to marry and adopted three children, Sunnee, Ryleigh and Grayson, from China.
3.) Her last words were for her children. She wanted them to be told how much she loves them and that she was “so sorry that she got sick”, her obituary further stated. It also revealed that she was holding her mother’s hand at the time of her passing and was being told how loved she was.
4.) In addition to working in her career, she was an avid volunteer. She helped with pediatric hospice and provided counseling for survivors, first responders, and families of those who lost their lives at ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001.
5.) She was sometimes seen at political events to support her husband and father-in-law. Levi ran for a New Hampshire congressional seat in 2018 and Bernie has run for multiple campaigns, including the 2020 presidential campaign, and she has often been by their side with encouragement.
We are sending comfort and healing wishes to all those affected by Rainè’s passing.