Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a longtime congressman, and civil rights leader, announced on Sunday that’s he’s undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Lewis, a Democrat who has represented Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for over 30 years, revealed doctors recently discovered cancer during a routine visit.
“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,” Lewis said in a statement.
Despite the diagnosis, Lewis, 79, said he will continue to serve in Congress. “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.”
Many political leaders and friends of Rep. Davis sent messages of support.
“If there’s one thing I love about @RepJohnLewis, it’s his incomparable will to fight,” tweeted former President Barack Obama. “I know he’s got a lot more of that left in him. Praying for you, my friend.”
President Bill Clinton also sent a message via his Twitter.
“If there’s anyone with the strength and courage to fight this, it’s you John,” former President Bill Clinton tweeted. “Hillary and I love you, and we join with millions of other Americans in praying for you and your family.”
Lewis said he plans to return to Washington in the coming days to resume work and begin his treatment plan, “which will occur over the next several weeks.”