US Civil rights icon and congressman from Georgia, John Lewis, has revealed that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, following a routine check-up.
The Sunday, December 29 announcement by Lewis’ office also added that the congressman will soon undergo treatment.
Lewis, who is celebrated by many in America due to his frontline involvement in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, promised “to fight it [his ailment] and keep fighting for the Beloved Community.”
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In the rest of the announcement, the 79-yeat-old said: “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.
“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.”
CNN reports that pancreatic cancer was the leading cause of death from cancer in the US last year.
People diagnosed with pancreatic cancer usually have a five-year survival rate of 9% across all stages.
Since the announcement of his ailment, Lewis has received messages of support from many in the political spheres, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Obama tweeted: “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.”
Apart from his dedication to civil rights in America, Lewis has represented the interests of Georgia’s 5th district since 1986.