Civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The Georgia Democrat's office made the announcement Sunday. Doctors discovered the cancer during a routine medical visit and reconfirmed the diagnosis.
"I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now," the 79-year-old said in a statement. "While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance."
He plans to remain in the House of Representatives while fighting cancer, though he said "may miss a few votes during this period," but with God’s grace he will be "back on the front lines soon."
Lewis has represented the people of Georgia's 5th Congressional District since 1986. He is perhaps best known for his involvement in the 1965 march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama.
The congressman received an outpouring of support on social media, from former presidents to media figures.