Civil rights icon, Ga. Rep. John Lewis diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Rep. John Lewis has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. (Source: Office of Rep. John Lewis)
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ATLANTA (WTVM) - A prominent figure in the House of Representatives has announced that he has received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Rep. John Lewis, who serves Georgia’s 5th congressional district, announced on Sunday that he recently learned from his doctors that he must undergo treatment for Stage IV pancreatic cancer, according to his office.

“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 Rep. Lewis.

The 79-year-old Troy, Ala. native says that during a routine medical visit and subsequent testing, doctors were able to make the diagnosis.

“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," said Rep. Lewis.

Rep. Lewis says that he plans to continue fighting for the people of his district. While he may miss a few votes, he plans to be back on the “front lines” soon.

The congressman will return to Washington in the coming days to continue working and begin his treatment plan.

Rep. Lewis has been well-known for his work in the civil rights movement, being named one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, according to his office.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams released a statement saying,

Congressman Lewis is a national treasure, my friend, my hero, and the hero of people across our world who are in the fight to make good trouble everywhere. I know that he will take on this fight just like he has for every other challenge: with strength, with purpose, and with courage. He and his family are in my prayers, and all Georgia Democrats stand with him in this fight.

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