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Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole announces cancer diagnosis

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)(WIBW)
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 9:13 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Former U.S. Sen. from Kansas, Bob Dole, announced Thursday he was recently diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

In a statement, Sen. Dole said, “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”

He also said his first cancer treatment will begin Monday.

In response to the news, U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) released a statement saying, “I have not known a better public servant, a man with a bigger heart, someone more focused on the good of the nation, more opposed to political drama, or a more incredible negotiator than Senator Bob Dole. I am the luckiest person on earth to have him as one of my greatest role models, a mentor, and a dear friend.

“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. From his signature legislation for people with disabilities to helping feed hungry children at schools in impoverished nations across the world, he has been a positive influence on our nation and the world.

“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.

“Senator Dole, just as you taught me that when there is any problem too big, just go listen to the people of Kansas,’ please know that the state we both love is behind you, and Laina and I and my entire family of course are behind you. We join all of Kansas in praying for God’s comfort and His healing hand, and peace for you, for Elizabeth, for Robin, and for your entire family during this difficult time.”

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said the news made him think of the words from Dole’s favorite song.

“I am saddened to hear that Kansas Senator Bob Dole has been diagnosed with cancer. Sen. Dole is someone I respect as a leader and consider a friend to me and Robba,” said Moran. “We are praying for him and Sen. Elizabeth Dole as they tackle this new challenge. I know I speak for Kansans when I say we are all thinking of Sen. Dole and wishing him comfort and healing.

“Bob, as you face the news of this illness, I am reminded of the words from your favorite song.

“Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain, Though your dreams be tossed and blown, Walk on, walk on, With hope in your heart, And you’ll never walk alone.”

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said he knows Dole will fight his cancer battle with grace and grit.

“Senator Dole has long been a part of our lives, and we are proud to call him our friend. He gave Jennifer her first job after college as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C.,” said Schmidt. “He has supported me in all my campaigns for public office and always given sage advice. Like so many other Kansans, we hold Bob and Elizabeth Dole and their family warmly in our hearts and in our prayers in this difficult time.”

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