Limbaugh evokes Gehrig in return: Outpouring of support 'makes me one of the luckiest people alive'

Limbaugh evokes Gehrig in return: Outpouring of support 'makes me one of the luckiest people alive'
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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh returned to his nationally syndicated program on Friday to share more about his diagnosis of having advanced stage lung cancer.

During the show, Limbaugh expressed gratitude to his supporters and evoked late New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig, declaring that all the well wishes he has received has made him feel "like the luckiest man alive."

Limbaugh's return comes four days after his stunning announcement that shocked his fans and compelled President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“The first two or three times I heard it [the cancer diagnosis], I had trouble processing it. How in the world can anybody feel lucky after having been told that you have a disease for which there is no recovery, and that it’s fast," Limbaugh said.

"There was a part of me that thought, 'OK, this is something that famous people are supposed to say.' I thought, clearly there is a portion of Lou Gehrig that thinks he has to say this. Now I know that’s all wrong. Now I know that there was nothing forced or phony or public relations-related about it. Because I feel the same way."

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Gehrig died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in 1941 at the age of 38. In a farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, Gehrig said he considered himself "the luckiest man on the face of the earth" despite being diagnosed with the fatal disease.

“I cannot thank all of the people that I have heard from since Monday,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “To have this kind of support, and to know it, to be fully aware of it, it does make me one of the luckiest people alive.”

The 69-year-old host — considered the most influential in radio among conservatives — announced Monday at the end of his program that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.

Limbaugh said he began treatment Wednesday. 

He began his nationally syndicated show 31 years ago. In January, it was announced that he had signed a long-term contract to continue his national show, which began in 1988 and averages more than 14 million listeners per day.