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Missing a party because of bad weather or a sudden “illness” is one thing. Passing on account of cancer treatment is quite another.

On Friday, Maggie Daley, wife of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, was honored at a dinner hosted by Kuwaiti Ambassador Salam Al-Sabah and his wife Rima. But instead of dining with 200 members of the D.C. elite, Daley sent an emotional speech for her daughter Nora to read in her absence while she spent the night at Georgetown University Hospital for pain management.

This story first appeared in the October 19, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Teresa Heinz Kerry, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, was the evening’s other honoree, and arrived wearing an ensemble she described as “Tamoxifen tight,” referring to the drug used to fight breast cancer in its early stages.

“Everyone has a different reaction,” Kerry said. For her, at least, weight gain clearly is not one of them. She was proudly sporting a pair of pants she’s owned for years. “Just letting you know they’re Balmain” — as in Balmain designed by the late Pierre Balmain — “gives you a pretty good idea of how old they are,” she said.

Kerry’s husband Sen. John Kerry stood by her in the receiving line along with Susan G. Komen Foundation founder Nancy Brinker.

“She’s been under a general anesthetic three times this year and she’s tired,” the senator said of his wife. “It takes a lot out of you. We go out to dinner. We go on walks. We’re fine.’’

She shrugged. “What else can you do?”

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