In a tragic turn of events, Republican congressman Derrick Van Orden from Wisconsin has tragically lost his oldest daughter, Sydney Marie Martenis, to cancer. The news hit hard, leaving Van Orden and his family devastated by the loss. Sydney, who was just a mom of three, fought bravely against an aggressive form of cancer for an entire year. It is with a heavy heart that Van Orden and his wife, Sara Jane, made the heartbreaking announcement.
Republican congressman reveals death of oldest daughter — and the tragic cause: 'We are heartbroken' https://t.co/8C6kFRhWDk
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 23, 2023
Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL who was elected to serve Wisconsin’s 3rd district in last year’s midterm elections, said, “It is with the most profound sense of grief and joy that Sara Jane and I announce the passing of our oldest daughter, Sydney Marie (Van Orden) Martenis.” The pain and sorrow in his words cannot be emphasized enough. Losing a child is unimaginably difficult, and Van Orden’s sentiments resonate deeply with anyone who has experienced such a tragedy.
Statement from Rep. Van Orden: pic.twitter.com/drkaUTtDvr
— Rep. Derrick Van Orden Press Office (@RepVanOrden) August 22, 2023
Sydney passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones. While their hearts ache at the thought of no longer being able to see her radiant smile and hear her infectious laughter, Van Orden and his family are grateful that she is now at rest with the Lord. They cherish the years they spent with Sydney and her family, holding onto the memories as a source of comfort during this trying time.
The outpouring of support from friends, colleagues, and the community has been overwhelming. Sympathies and prayers have flooded in from both sides of the political aisle, showing that amidst political differences, humanity prevails. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy offered his heartfelt condolences, sharing that he is praying for Van Orden and his family. It is moments like these where partisanship should take a back seat, emphasizing our shared humanity and compassion for our fellow citizens.
Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, also reached out to express her sorrow over the loss. Regardless of political affiliation, it is crucial to demonstrate empathy and support during times of immense grief. In these critical moments, we should set aside our differences and come together as one nation, united in compassion.
Van Orden previously vocalized his anguish earlier this summer when the House Freedom Caucus caused disruption on the House floor. He passionately criticized the rebels, stating that he was diligently fulfilling his duties as a congressman while his daughter’s health was deteriorating. His frustration was understandable, as he struggled to juggle his personal tragedy alongside his responsibilities as an elected official.
The loss of Sydney Marie Martenis is a devastating blow to the Van Orden family, and our hearts go out to them during this incredibly difficult time. It serves as a stark reminder that life’s challenges are above politics and that elected officials, despite their differences, are human beings in need of our support and compassion. This heartbreaking event should ignite a collective sense of empathy within us all, reminding us to prioritize what truly matters – the wellbeing of our loved ones and the resilience of the human spirit.