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Nancy Reagan fine after stumble at California event

Aug 24, 2011, 3:04 p.m.
U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General George Flynn (R) escorts former U.S First Lady Nancy Reagan after the laying of the wreath ceremony and a 21-gun salute at the resting place of her husband, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, during his posthumous 100th birthday celebration at the President Reagan Memorial Site, Reagan Library, in Simi Valley February 6, 2011. REUTERS/David McNew/Pool

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former first lady Nancy Reagan is "fine" despite stumbling at an event in southern California where she was caught by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The 90 year-old Reagan was using a cane and walking down an aisle arm-in-arm with Rubio when she lurched forward at the event on Tuesday evening at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, some 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Rubio kept her from hitting the ground by holding onto her arm, as others rushed in to help support her.

"She's absolutely fine," said Melissa Giller, a spokeswoman for the Reagan Library.

"She still attended the dinner afterward and enjoyed herself," Giller said.

Nancy Reagan stumbled because she tripped on a post in the aisle she was walking down, Giller said.

The stumble occurred at an event where Rubio, a rising star in the Republican Party who was elected last year to the Senate, gave a speech that introduced the Senator from Florida to supporters on the West Coast.

Nancy Reagan was hospitalized in 2008 with fractures to her pelvis and lower spine that she suffered in a fall.

She keeps a busy schedule with her work for the library and the foundation honoring her late husband, Giller said.

She became first lady in 1981 after the late Ronald Reagan was elected president, and she helped him survive blows such as an assassination attempt and cancer surgery during his eight years in the White House. Ronald Reagan died in 2004.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune)

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