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Kansas GOP icon Bob Dole reveals lung cancer diagnosis, begins treatment next week

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole revealed Thursday that he’s been recognized with stage 4 lung cancer and can start treatment Monday.

“While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own,” Dole, 97, mentioned in a press release.

The assertion didn’t present particulars about Dole’s treatment plan. Stage 4 is probably the most superior stage of the illness and implies that the cancer has unfold to different elements of the physique, based on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Dole represented Kansas in Congress from 1961 to 1996, finally rising to the place of Senate GOP chief. He received the Republican nomination for president in 1996, mounting an unsuccessful problem in opposition to President Bill Clinton.

Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, a Republican who represented Kansas alongside Dole, mentioned he referred to as her a pair days in the past and delivered the information about his prognosis. She mentioned the 2 had “quite a good conversation” and that he was in good spirits once they talked.

“I mentioned, ‘You just sound great, Bob. We could certainly use your good voice out here in Kansas,” Kassebaum said.

Kassebaum said Dole has always been positive and has previously gone through times of serious illness. “And I think that’s a tribute to him, as effectively, that he has saved an actual combating spirit and eager to assume optimistic,” she mentioned.

Dole has acquired a slew of honors since leaving workplace, together with in 2018 when he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and in 2019 when Congress handed laws to formally promote him to the rank of colonel for his World War II service.

Former Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican whose identified Dole for the reason that Nineteen Sixties, mentioned that honoring Dole was one of many few agenda objects that might go the divided Congress with with unanimous help.

Dole was wounded in Italy in 1945. He acquired two Purple Hearts and Bronze Star for valor. His conflict wounds prompted everlasting injury to his proper arm, which he mitigated by holding a pencil throughout public appearances.

“The man who has faced health challenges since he was wounded on the fields of Italy is no less determined to get well now. Cancer’s tough, but I’ve never known anybody more tough than Bob,” mentioned Roberts, who spoke with Dole about his prognosis Wednesday in an emotional telephone name.

“I know he’s going to fight this with his usual grit and determination.”

Dole has remained energetic in Republican politics since leaving the Senate in 1996, showing in a number of marketing campaign advertisements for Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall during the 2020 election.

“Most every day as I walk the halls of the Capitol, I recognize the boots I wear now, were once worn by Senator Dole and on days like this, those boots look mighty large,” Marshall mentioned in a press release after Dole’s prognosis was introduced.

“I have zero doubt in my mind Senator Dole will take this challenge head on the same way as other challenges he faced in his life. Just as he did as one of the heroes from our greatest generation, in this battle, Senator Dole will continue to show us the way through hope, resiliency, and perseverance.”

Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran reacted to the information of Dole’s prognosis by quoting the previous senator’s favourite track, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” a tune from the 1945 musical “Carousel,” which has been coated by an array of pop singers: “Walk on, walk on / With hope in your heart / And you’ll never walk alone.”

Dole was the one former Republican presidential nominee to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention for the nomination of President Donald Trump. However, Dole was extremely essential of Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 election.

Roberts mentioned Dole was one of many first individuals he spoke to concerning the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, an occasion which deeply disturbed the 2 former Kansas senators.

“He used to say when people would come to visit— and of course everybody came to see Bob— he used to say. ‘This is not my Capitol. This our Capitol. It belongs to you.’”

Bryan Lowry covers Kansas and Missouri politics as Washington correspondent for The Kansas City Star. He beforehand served as Kansas statehouse correspondent for The Wichita Eagle and as The Star’s lead political reporter. Lowry contributed to The Star’s investigation into authorities secrecy that was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.
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