Published: Dec 07, 2010 8:13 PM EST
Updated: Dec 07, 2010 5:13 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Doctors have told her that further cancer treatment will do no good. And Elizabeth Edwards may be just weeks away from the disease taking her life.

A friend who's among those gathered with her at her North Carolina home says she's gravely ill. Her estranged husband, former presidential candidate John Edwards, has also been with her.

She has battled breast cancer since 2004.

In a Facebook statement, the 61-year-old says she's grateful to have made a positive impact.

Edwards has focused on reforming the country's health care system toward a single-payer process designed to serve all.

She has shared with the public the most intimate struggles of her bouts with cancer.