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Betty Ford Funeral Motorcade Arrives At Church

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Jul. 12 2011, Published 1:15 p.m. ET

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By Alexis Tereszcuk - Senior Reporter

As dignitaries from around the country gather to say goodbye to a beloved First Lady, the funeral motorcade arrived at the St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif. Tuesday afternoon.

Betty Ford passed away Friday at 93.

First Lady Michelle Obama will be attending the funeral, along with former First Ladies Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and Rosalyn Carter.  Former President George W. Bush will attend but his wife Laura will not be present.  Bill Clinton was unable to attend at the last minute due to mechanical problems with his plane.

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Betty Ford was married to former President Gerald Ford for 58 years. During the 1970's, Mrs. Ford was known and beloved for her candor in a time when certain subjects were talked about only in whispers. She spoke openly of her battle with breast cancer and of having a radical mastectomy in 1974 -- inspiring countless women to seek breast exams.

Then, only fifteen months after leaving the White House, she made another deeply personal revelation when she announced that she was entering a treatment program to battle a longtime addiction to painkillers and alcohol.

Bill Clinton

She would later use her own struggles to help others by co-founding the now famous Betty Ford Center near the Fords' home in Rancho Mirage in 1982. Since its opening, the non-profit facility has helped some 90,000 people battle their addictions; many celebrities have sought treatment there, including Lindsay Lohan, Elizabeth Taylor, and Johnny Cash. will be live streaming the funeral.



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