Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole announced Thursday that he has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
Dole, 97, served as a Republican senator from Kansas for 27 years, starting in 1969. He was in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight years before that. He was the GOP presidential nominee in 1996. A World War II veteran, he was wounded in action. After a long recovery period, he became a Kansas House representative and a county attorney.
Dole’s statement: “Recently, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. My first treatment will begin on Monday. While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, released this statement:
“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. 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.”
U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, issued this statement:
“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 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 for 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.”