Rep.announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, which he described as a “serious but curable form of cancer,” and he said he will begin chemo-immunotherapy treatments on an outpatient basis.
“I expect to be able to work through this period but have been cautioned by my doctors to reduce unnecessary exposure to avoid COVID-19, the flu and other viruses,” Raskin said in a statement. “In addition to destroying cancer cells, chemotherapy impairs natural antibodies and undermines the body’s immune system. I am advised that it also causes hair loss and weight gain (although I am still holding out hope for the kind that causes hair gain and weight loss).”
Raskin, 60, added that he plans “to get through this and, in the meantime, to keep making progress every day in Congress for American democracy.”
“My love and solidarity go out to other families managing cancer or any other health condition in this holiday season —and all the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who provide us comfort and hope,” Raskin said.
Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma is one of the most common subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to Mayo Clinic. It is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system, and in which “white blood cells called lymphocytes grow abnormally and can form growths (tumors) throughout the body,” Mayo Clinic said.
Maryland’s Gov.-elect Wes Moore posted well wishes to Raskin on Twitter, writing that the congressman “embodies what it means to persevere in the face of overwhelming challenges.”
Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, has been a key member of the House select committee investigating the, and he served as one of the House’s impeachment lawyers in President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in Feb. 2021.
On Dec. 30, 2020, Raskin’s 25-year-old son, Thomas, died by suicide.” in January 2022 that it felt like “the end of the world.”
Ahead of the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, Raskin got up to speak, thanking his colleagues “for all your love and tenderness, which my family will never forget.”
Raskin told “CBS Sunday Morning” that as the day turned into chaos when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol, he “didn’t feel any fear the entire time.”
“And I think that was because of Tommy,” Raskin said. “The very worst thing that has ever happened me has already happened. And then I felt … like Tommy was in my chest. I felt him by my heart. He was giving me strength.”