Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee says she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

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U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, announced Sunday night that she is being treated for pancreatic cancer, but assured her constituents that she will soon be back at full strength.

Jackson Lee, 74, has been representing Texas’ 18th congressional district for 30 years.

“My doctors have confirmed my diagnosis for pancreatic cancer,” Jackson Lee said in a statement. “I am currently undergoing treatment to battle this disease that impacts tens of thousands of Americans every year.”

“I am confident that my doctors have developed the best possible plan to target my specific disease,” she continued. “The road ahead will not be easy, but I stand in faith that God will strengthen me.”

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Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee announced Sunday night that she is being treated for pancreatic cancer. (REUTERS/Erin Scott)

The congresswoman said she will “likely be occasionally absent from Congress” as she undergoes treatment, but emphasized that her office will continue to deliver the constituent services they “deserve and expect.”

“I am committed to working with our Congressional Leadership including Leader Hakeem Jeffries and the Speaker of House to serve this nation and be present for votes on legislation that is critical for the prosperity and security of the American people,” she said. “By God’s grace, I will be back at full strength soon.”

Jackson Lee previously battled breast cancer, having been diagnosed in 2011 before announcing the following year she was cancer free.

The Democrat served as a judge before she was elected to an at-large Houston City Council seat in 1989.

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Sheila Jackson Lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said she will “likely be occasionally absent from Congress” as she undergoes treatment. (Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

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Last year, she ran an unsuccessful campaign for Houston mayor, losing by a wide margin to then-state Sen. John Whitmire, also a Democrat, before announcing she would seek reelection in Congress.

“My adult life has been defined by my faith in God, my love for humanity and my commitment to public service,” Jackson Lee said on Sunday. “As a member of Congress, I’ve been honored to be one of the leaders in the fight for justice and equality for all; especially the disadvantaged and the dispossessed. Today, my fight is more personal, but I will approach it with the same faith and the same courage.”

“Please keep me and my family in your prayers as you have always done. Know that you will remain in mine,” she concluded. “As always, God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”



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