Few Democratic lawmakers are more respected than Georgia’s John Lewis. The states representative for the district has a long history of fighting for civil rights. Lewis marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the summer of 1960 and was one of the 13 original freedom riders.
Lewis is one of the most respected lawmakers in the country, but at the age of 79, he is also one of the oldest. And the Democratic party was dealt a severe blow today when it was revealed that the congressman is battling stage IV pancreatic cancer.
The lawmaker is keeping a stiff upper lip and told his constituents that the situation is different than it was years ago. He told the public, “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.”
Lewis continued, “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.”
The lawmaker finished his remarks by saying that he will continue to fight. “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,” said Lewis.