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Arizona Democrat announces cancer diagnoses

Arizona Democrat announces cancer diagnoses

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) announced on Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Grijalva, who has represented Arizona’s 7th Congressional District since 2003, said in a statement that he had sought treatment for a persistent cough several weeks ago. Though initially diagnosed with pneumonia, Grijalva said further testing discovered cancer.

“This diagnosis has been difficult to process, but I am confident in the vigorous course of treatment that my medical team has developed, and I’ve begun my journey to fight this cancer,” Grijalva said.

Grijalva serves as the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee and is a member of the Education and Labor Committee and Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Grijalva said his offices will remain open and services uninterrupted.

“I am in regular communication with my staff and I continue to work as I undergo treatment,” he added.

Grijalva did not disclose what type of cancer he has been diagnosed with.

Several lawmakers have faced health concerns over the past few years while remaining in office and in leadership positions.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sparked concerns after several “freezing” incidents last year. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), underwent treatment for blood cancer earlier this year. Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) was elected after suffering a stroke on the 2022 campaign trail, and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) underwent intestinal surgery earlier this year.

Grijalva has asked for privacy as he handles his own diagnoses.

“I am grateful to my family, friends and doctors for their support, and I am working hard to get healthy and return to business as usual as soon as I am able,” Grijalva said. “I appreciate your consideration, well wishes and respect for my family’s privacy during this time. My heart goes out to others struggling with cancer, and I wish everyone strength in their fight.”

Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said Grijalva, his family and loved ones are in the thoughts and prayers of CHC.

“Grijalva is a well-loved colleague and a leader in Congress as Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee, where he fights for our nation’s public lands, natural resources, and tribes every day,” Barragán said. “He is a fierce advocate and committed public servant to the people he serves in Arizona throughout his more than two decades in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a voice of experience and wisdom for Members of our Caucus. The CHC will support Raúl and his Congressional staff throughout his fight with cancer, and we know he will bring his trademark toughness and determination to his battle against this disease.”

Updated at 4:18 p.m.

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