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Rep. John Lewis diagnosed with cancer; Barack Obama and others pray for him

Georgia Congressman John Lewis, standing, with fellow Civil Rights hero Ambassador Andrew Young (Photo by A.R. Shaw for Steed Media)

Revered Georgia congressman John Lewis stared down White supremacy and Southern segregationists during the Civil Rights era. There is no doubt, his friends say, that the legendary legislator will not flinch as he prepares to go to war with the type of cancer that has a low survival rate.

Lewis, D-Georgia, told his supporters that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The 79-year-old spoke via a statement that has been obtained by the likes of CNN and Fox News:

“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.

“So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.

“I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.”

Lewis is best known as an unassailable Civil Rights icon who worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. within the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was in the front row during the famous march from Selma, Alabama, which led to the monumental Voting Rights Act of 1965 after nearly killing him. His heroics played out in the seminal, Oscar-nominated film Selma in 2005.

Lewis’ friends responded with heartfelt messages on Twitter