Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama all told a story during the Democratic National Convention about battles the president’s mother waged with health care companies as she fought a terminal illness in 1995. But the version of events presented Thursday night differs dramatically from others, including those of at least two biographers and Obama’s own previous account.

“Barack had to sit at the end of his mom’s hospital bed and watch her fight cancer and insurance companies at the same time,” Biden said.

The first lady added to the story, observing from the podium that “watching your mother die of something that could have been prevented — that’s a tough thing to deal with.”

“When my mother got cancer,” the president echoed during a video played inside the Time Warner Cable Arena before his entrance, ”she wasn’t a wealthy woman and it pretty much drained all her resources.”

But in 2004, the president told the Chicago Sun-Times that he wasn’t present during his mother’s final days at all.

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