The office of Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia) announced he will need to have treatment for pancreatic cancer, with the civil rights leader calling it a fight he has never faced.
In a statement released Sunday, Lewis says “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. “
Lewis says the cancer is Stage IV, but doctors told him he has “a fighting chance” thanks to advancements in medical technology.
Lewis, who will turn 80 in February, worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s.
He became Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was also a speaker at the March on Washington.
He has represented the Atlanta area since being elected in 1986.