BLUE EARTH, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota freshman Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn says he is being treated for cancer but still plans to run for re-election this year.
The 57-year-old Hagedorn said Wednesday he was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer on Feb. 15, 2019, and has received care and immunotherapy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, this past year.
Hagedorn says he was given the “unexpected and rather shocking news” exactly two months after marrying his wife, Minnesota GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, and just six weeks into his job as Minnesota's 1st District congressman. He says he feels “great” and has not missed a single vote due to illness.
Hagedorn issued the following statement on his condition:
“Exactly two months after marrying my wife, Jennifer, and just six weeks into my job as the First District's Congressman, I was given unexpected and rather shocking news. Just like millions of other Americans, I was told by my doctor: you have cancer. After prayers and long talks with those closest to me, I was determined to fight it like hell.”
“Today, one year later, I am happy to say I feel great and continue to perform my job in Congress unimpeded. I have not missed even a single vote due to illness. This disease has not and will not deter me. I will keep fighting cancer and fighting for America and the people of southern Minnesota.”
“I am fortunate to be a patient of the Mayo Clinic, the preeminent institution of medicine in the world. My physicians, nurses and technicians are incredibly caring and competent people. I am also grateful for the regimen of immunotherapy, recently approved by the FDA as a treatment for kidney cancer. Guided by the Good Lord’s healing hands, the treatments are helping my body’s immune system identify and kill the cancer cells.”
“I’ve been able to do my job, make hundreds of stops across the First District, hold 18 town hall meetings, and make 39 round trips to and from Washington, D.C. to perform my legislative duties. I am a candidate for re-election in 2020. Hopefully my situation will help others realize that, in today’s world of medical innovation, it is possible for folks fighting serious illness to live virtually normal lives, continue working their jobs and maintain hope for a bright future.”
“Thanks to Jennifer, my family, friends, staff and others for their love, prayers, support and encouragement. Special thanks to my physician, Dr. Lance C. Pagliaro, and the dedicated team at the Mayo Clinic for their concern and world-class care.”