Read Rep. John Lewis’ statement about his cancer diagnosis

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U.S. Rep. John Lewis has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Lewis, 79, has represented Atlanta in Congress since 1986. He has been reelected 16 times, winning another term in 2018 with no opposition. The Alabama native rose out of the Nashville student movements and became a key ally of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1961, he was attacked as a Freedom Rider, and beaten by a state trooper in Selma, Alabama, during “Bloody Sunday.” The attack spurred support in the U.S. and Congress for the Vo

U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ office released a statement Sunday on his House website that reflected his letter announcing his diagnosis.  The full statement:

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.

This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.

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.

So 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.

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.