Obama offers words of encouragement to John Lewis after cancer diagnosis

Former President Obama took to Twitter to offer words of encouragement to civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Sunday shortly after he revealed that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

“If there’s one thing I love about @RepJohnLewis, 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.

Earlier on Sunday, Lewis said in a statement that he recently learned from doctors that he must undergo treatment after he was discovered to have developed stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 

He said that plans to return to Washington in the coming days to continue his work in Congress and also begin a treatment plan, which he added “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 said.

Lewis, 79, has been serving in Congress since 1987. He rose to national prominence during the civil rights movement for his work as a freedom fighter and for famously marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the March on Washington in 1963.

In a discussion with Obama marking the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination last year, the congressman discussed civil rights with high school students in D.C. and opened up about how it felt to march with the late civil rights leader.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something. Dr. King inspired us to do just that,” Lewis said then. 

He was honored by Obama for his service with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.

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