Rep. John Lewis announced he is undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life,” Lewis, 79, said in a statement Sunday. “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.
“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,” he said.
Lewis, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1987, was among those beaten by police on the so-called “Bloody Sunday” while marching in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965.
Soon after his announcement, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon, who walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr., received a huge outpouring of support, including from former President Barack Obama.
“If there’s one thing I love about [Lewis], it’s his incomparable will to fight. I know he’s got a lot more of that left in him. Praying for you, my friend,” Obama tweeted.