Rep. John Lewis announces that he is battling stage four pancreatic cancer

John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) prepares to pay his respects to U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who lies in state within Statuary Hall during a memorial ceremony (Photo by Melina Mara-Pool/Getty Images)

Representative John Lewis (D-GA), a civil rights pioneer, has announced that he is battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

His announcement read in part, “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.

While Lewis appears optimistic the prognosis for stage four pancreatic cancer is grim with a roughly one-year survival rate after diagnosis according to John Hopkins School of Medicine.

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Despite his diagnosis, Lewis vows to continue to work for the causes he has championed his entire career. “…I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.”

Lewis (D-Ga) who has served as a congressman since 1987 has created a legacy of fighting for civil rights. Beginning with his days as a member of the Big Six Lewis’ entire career has revolved around fighting for the freedom of Black Americans with an emphasis on voter’s rights. An American Icon he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

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“To my constituents: being your representative in Congress is the honor of a lifetime. I will return to Washington in coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon. Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey.”

We absolutely will sir. We absolutely will.