Retired U.S. Senator and former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole announced he has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. At 97 years old, he is set to begin treatment next week.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Dole wrote, “Recently, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. My first treatment will begin Monday.” He added, “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also known that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”
STATEMENT BY SENATOR BOB DOLE ON HEALTH CHALLENGES pic.twitter.com/ndRxqNWb30
— Senator Bob Dole (@SenatorDole) February 18, 2021
Dole, who is famous for referring to himself in the third person, represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1968-1996. He became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 1996, eventually losing to President Bill Clinton, and retiring from political life in Kansas.
Dole has remained active in the Kansas community, participating in a “Yellow Ribbons From Home” program that aired in Wichita, Kansas in 2007, where families of servicemen deployed overseas were able to send televised messages to the troops via an early Internet simulcast.
In World War II, Dole sustained an injury while storming a German machine gun nest that left him paralyzed from the neck down. After a series of surgeries and lengthy recuperation, the paralysis was widely diminished and he regained use of his legs and left arm, but Dole has never regained use of his right arm or hand. Dole has called the assault, “the day that changed my life.”
The news about Dole’s health comes only one day after radio pioneer and legend Rush Limbaugh succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 70, after fighting the disease for just over one year.
When Limbaugh announced his diagnoses and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump, the former president acknowledged “Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness.”