Revered civil rights activist and Democratic Rep. for the state of Georgia in Congress, John Lewis, revealed a diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer on Sunday.
According to The Associated Press (AP), Congressman Lewis assured that despite the news, he will keep serving the people of Georgia and fight the disease with the same tenacity that defeated racial discrimination and other inequalities dating to the civil rights era.
Lewis, the youngest and only remaining survivor of the ‘Big Six’ civil rights activists, said in a statement that the cancer was detected earlier in December during a routine medical visit.
Lewis, in the official statement, further argued that while he is realistic about the prognosis, recent medical advances have made pancreatic caner treatable in many cases.
“[T]reatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were; I have a fighting chance,” he added.
The long-serving Democrat has represented Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, which includes much of Atlanta, since first being elected in 1986.
Lewis was famously released from Mississippi State Penitentiary, 58 years ago, after being arrested at the bus station in Jackson, Mississippi for using a so-called “white” restroom during the Freedom Rides in May 1961.