On Sunday (12-29-19), longtime Georgia congressman and civil rights icon, John Lewis, announced that he has stage IV pancreatic cancer.
In a statement, Lewis said the cancer was detected earlier this month during a routine medical visit.
He noted that subsequent tests confirmed the diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer.
“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” said Lewis, 79.
“While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance,” Lewis’ statement also added
The Atlanta area Democrat plans to stay in office and fight the disease with the same kind of fierceness he brought to the fight against racial discrimination and other inequalities during his involvement in the civil rights era.
Lewis is set to return to Washington in the coming days to continue his work and begin his treatment plan. He said medical treatment will be ongoing over the next several weeks but he did not elaborate on the specifics of the treatment itself.
“I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon,” he said in asking for prayers.
Lewis, who is often referred to as the “conscience of the Congress,” is known for the prominent role he had in the 1960s civil rights struggles.
“We are all praying for you following this diagnosis,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi posted on Twitter. “John, know that generations of Americans have you in their thoughts & prayers as you face this fight. We are all praying that you are comfortable. We know that you will be well.”
Former President Obama also tweeted a message of encouragement.
“If there’s one thing I love about @RepJohnLewis, it’s his incomparable will to fight. I know he’s got a lot more of that left in him. Praying for you, my friend,” the former president wrote.