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With kids in tow, Sandi Jackson dodges question about husband's bipolar depression

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BY FRAN SPIELMAN
City Hall Reporter
fspielman@suntimes.com

One day after U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago) was diagnosed with Bipolar II depression, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) refused to comment on her husband's condition.

Ald. Jackson has been an increasingly vocal advocate for her husband as his medical leave has dragged on.

But, she was not about to talk about the congressman's condition on Tuesday, when her young children accompanied her to a City Council committee hearing on the concept of using eminent domain to solve the city's foreclosure crisis.

When a reporter approached, an aide to the City Council's sergeant-at-arms ran interference and said the alderman was with her kids and had no desire to talk.

On June 10, Jackson went on medical leave, but his office did not publicly disclose it until two weeks later. During that time, the congressman's office had issued 16 news releases on other subjects, many quoting the congressman.

In late August, Sandi Jackson told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed that her husband collapsed at their Washington home, and his brother Yusef took the congressman to George Washington Hospital. She described the collapse as "D-Day for us."
Earlier this week, the Mayo Clinic reported that Jesse Jackson Jr. has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is "responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength."

The Mayo Clinic statement, issued at the congressman's request, further noted that the disorder is "most likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors" and said that the "gastric bypass surgery" he underwent "can change how the body absorbs food, liquids, vitamins, nutrients and medications."

Sandi Jackson has said she expects her husband to return to the campaign trail in plenty of time to campaign for re-election. She has said he talks to his kids first thing in the morning and the last thing before they go to bed at night.

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