Senator Patrick Leahy Hospitalized Weeks Before Trump's Impeachment Trial — Meet His Wife, Marcelle Pomerleau

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Patrick Leahy

Though many know Patrick Leahy for the questions he asked during the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, he’s been a U.S. Senator since 1974.

He’s actually only one of two sitting senators to have served while Gerald Ford was in office, and is one of the most senior members. He’s also Vermont’s longest-serving senator and is the only Democrat the state has ever elected to the Senate.

Leahy is set to preside over Trump's impeachment trial in February 2021; however, it's been revealed that he's recently been hospitalized with a mystery illness.

Undoubtedly, his family will by his side through his health battle, including his wife, Marecelle Pomerleau, who he's been married to for over 50 years.

Who is Patrick Leahy’s wife, Marcelle Pomerleau?

Here's what to know about Marcelle Pomerleau, and more details about Leahy's hospitalization. 

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She’s Canadian.

Pomerleau is the daughter of French-Canadian immigrants who moved to Vermont from Quebecois. She’s bilingual.

She’s a nurse.

She’s a registered nurse and serves on the board of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. According to Leahy, he values his wife’s counsel on health issues, especially after having a scare of her own.

They met at a party.

When Leahy was just 19 years old, he met Pomerleau at a summer party on the shores of Lake Champlain. Pomerleau was 17 at the time and according to Leahy, “I fell immediately and she ignored me,” to which Pomerleau defended herself, saying, “Translate that to he doesn’t understand a girl being shy.”

On one of their first dates, the couple went to a summer concert on the steps of the Pavilion Hotel, near Montpelier Statehouse. They listened to the concert from their parked car and talked for the whole night.

They’ve been married for over 50 years.

A few years after meeting, the two married in 1962 while Leahy was attending law school in Washington, D.C. They have three children, Mark, Alicia, and Kevin, as well as five grandkids.

They live on a 300-acre farm in Middlesex, VT. When they celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012, Leahy said, “We hate it when we’re apart from one another.” How adorably sweet is that!?

She knows how to break tension.

Back when Cuban President Raúl Castro first met the Leahy family, Pomerleau set the tone for the meeting. The tension was obvious until she asked Castro to see a photo of his great granddaughter.

Tim Reiser, Leahy’s foreign policy advisor, said, “It kind of broke the ice. It wouldn’t have happened if Marcelle hadn’t opened her mouth. When you can find that personal connection it can open channels that otherwise wouldn’t have.”

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She knew her husband always wanted to be in politics.

When they first met, “Patrick told me that his aspiration was to be the governor of the state of Vermont, and I was completely naive,” she said.

She was about to enter nursing school at that time, but when a seat opened up in the Senate, he jumped at the opportunity, even though winning might not happen.

According to Pomerleau, “Lots of times people will come to me and tell me things to tell him, because I don’t have a crowd of people around me. And they can communicate with me in a more private way, and they understand that I’ll get the message to Patrick.”

It’s good to know he will always have his wife’s support.

She’s a cancer survivor.

In 2003, she was diagnosed with melanoma, but even though it was treated successfully, there’s still a chance that it could come back.

During a routine dermatology appointment, the doctor found the cancer, and luckily she didn’t have to have radiation treatment.

She still visits the dermatologist every six months and has something removed every time, unfortunately. “We worry about each other, and our kids do, too. We try to take care of each other,” Leahy said.

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Even before her diagnosis, the couple has become advocates for cancer research and prevention.

Back in 1987, a Leahy supporter was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She went to Leahy and the two fought for funding to fight breast cancer. “I'm not going to have the scientific ability to cure cancer or help somebody with cancer, but I do have the ability to get resources for people with cancer. And in whatever remaining years I'm here, I intend to use that,” Leahy said.

They are also supporters of Tracy’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides art therapy to children with cancer and their siblings. Pomerleau has served on the board of trustees since its inception.

They really are in love.

It’s always sweet to see an older couple still more in love than ever, and the Leahys are no exception. He even introduced her to the Grateful Dead, showing her things she didn’t know before: “He introduced me to politics and the Grateful Dead. He broadened my horizons like you wouldn’t believe.”

Former Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has said of their relationship, “I think it must be Valentine’s Day every day at the Leahys’ house.”

Leahy was recently hospitalized just weeks before Trump's impeachment trial.

This evening, Senator Leahy was in his Capitol office and was not feeling well,” his spokesman, David Carle, said in a statement made on Jan. 26 during the evening.

“He was examined in the Capitol by the Attending Physician.  Out of an abundance of caution, the Attending Physician recommended that he be taken to a local hospital for observation, where he is now, and where he is being evaluated,” the statement concluded.

It's unclear as to how long Leahy will be in the hospital for, and if his hospitalization will push back the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, which is set for February 8, 2021. 

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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.