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Ted Kennedy's Family "On Alert"

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Feb. 20 2009, Published 3:52 p.m. ET

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Ted Kennedy's health is deteriorating and family members have been put "on alert," according to exclusive new information learned by

The Massachusetts Senator, who's battling brain cancer, plans on celebrating his 77th birthday this Sunday. Earlier this month, he and his wife Vicki left Boston for an undisclosed location in Florida so that he can continue his physical rehab in warmer weather.

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"The realization has set in that this is likely Ted's last birthday and it's brought an outpouring of emotion in the closely-knit family of which Ted is the patriarch," a close source told

"As Ted has fallen into a weak and deteriorating condition, Vicki has asked family members to keep his birthday 'low key,' but with the Kennedys that is unlikely to happen."


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