BOSTON (CBS) – The wife of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi says her husband is “skinny, frail and weak” as he sits in a federal prison in North Carolina.

Debbie DiMasi spokes with Boston Globe reporter Milton Valencia in a rare interview about her husband’s health.

Valencia spoke with WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Rod Fritz

“Sal has been really sick since brought to federal prison just 16 months ago,” Valencia told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Thursday. “He was a teddy bear, as she put it, and now he’s just very skinny, frail and weak.”

DiMasi was sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption. He has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his tongue and throat.

In the Boston Globe story, Debbie DiMasi blames the prison system for a delay in getting treatment for her husband. DiMasi has reportedly lost 50 pounds, has suffered from bouts of pneumonia and relies on a feeding tube.

“He is battling a deadly cancer that unfortunately went undiagnosed for way too long, months after he raised concerns,” Valencia said.

He added that Debbi is now focused on spreading the word about her husband’s form of cancer.

“She’s been quite an activist in the past with different events and charities and I think this one she wants to tackle and make people aware of,” Valencia said. “Bitter no, resentful maybe, but at least in her view this is something people need to know.”


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