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In a statement Sunday,  long time civil rights leader Georgia Rep. John Lewis announced that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 

He begins his statement by saying that while he has made it his life’s mission to fight for equal rights and fair treatment for black people, no fight is harder than the fight he is currently facing. 

“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.

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 He revealed that he found out while he was at the doctor for a check-up,  he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 

“This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.

Lewis expressed his optimism about beating 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 also added that he will keep doing what he has been doing his entire life and fight! 

“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.”

John Lewis is a politician and civil rights, leader. He is the US Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district and is currently serving his 17th term. Lewis has been serving since 1987 and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation.