The mayor of Stonecrest is battling cancer for a second time, leading him to take a medical leave of absence until March.
Mayor Jason Lary announced Monday night at a city council meeting that he’s battling a “second round of a more aggressive cancer." He was previously diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 2018. He did not take time off during his radiation treatments.
“My cancer has returned, and I am not going to go through what I did a year or so ago," Lary said.
According to a news release, Lary’s treatment plan is being devised by doctors at Kaiser Permanente and Emory Healthcare. The release added that his prognoses “are good.” No further information on the cancer diagnosis were provided, with the mayor saying he wishes to keep the other details private.
“My wife and I and our family are, by nature, very private people, but when you are in public office this comes with it," Lary said. "Per my wife’s instructions, who I listen to the most, this time I take care of me.”
Councilman Rob Turner opened Monday night’s council meeting with a prayer, which included a plea to heal the mayor.
“Father, we pray that you touch our mayor’s body and destroy what is trying to destroy him: the cancer,” Turner said. “And give him total healing and total restoration.”
The council voted unanimously to excuse the mayor. Lary said he would continue his duties at city hall but would trust the city meetings to the councilmembers.
According to the city charter, the mayor or a council member would forfeit their seat if they fail to attend one-third of the regularly scheduled city council meetings within a three-month period without being excused by the council. The charter led to lawsuits against Councilwoman Jazzmin Cobble, who missed two council meetings last year, but a judge ended up denying the petition.
The city said Lary will keep the public updated on his progress.