U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-01) revealed Wednesday that he was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer in February of last year.
“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,” Hagedorn said in a statement.
Hagedorn married Jennifer Carnahan, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, in late 2018 after flipping Minnesota’s First Congressional District from Democratic to Republican.
“Jim loves our country and serving in Congress more than anything in the world. As his wife and chair of our party, the past year hasn’t been easy. We both remain committed to one another, our jobs, our state and our country,” Carnahan said Wednesday evening. “We appreciate your positive thoughts and well wishes. Jim is making great progress and remains one of the hardest working members of Congress.”
Hagedorn said the cancer was detected accidentally during a routine physical exam and before he started exhibiting any symptoms. The freshman congressman said he is being treated at Mayo Clinic and still plans to run for reelection this year.
“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,” he said.
Dr. Lance Pagliaro, an oncology specialist at Mayo Clinic and Hagedorn’s doctor, said the congressman has “responded well to immunotherapy” and “is doing well.”
“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,” Hagedorn added. “Thanks to Jennifer, my family, friends, staff and others for their love, prayers, support and encouragement.”
His full statement can be read below:
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