Minnesota's 1st District U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn has revealed he has been battling stage 4 kidney cancer for more than a year.
The 1st term Republican representative, who was elected to the district that covers a vast area of southeastern and southern Minnesota, announced he has been receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic since his diagnosis on Feb. 15, 2019.
The "shocking" diagnosis came just two months after he married his wife, Minnesota GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, and just six weeks after he took up his place in Congress.
"Just like millions of other Americans, I was told by my doctor, you have cancer. After prayers and long talks with those closest to me, I was determined to fight it like hell," he said in a news release.
He says he's not been impeded by the disease and has not missed a vote because of it.
He said the cancer was detected accidentally during a routine physical. A cancer reaches "stage four" level when it has spread to other parts of the body, though Rep. Hagedorn says treatment is going well and hasn't stopped him working full-time.
"I am fortunate to be a patient of the Mayo Clinic, the preeminent institution of medicine in the world," he said. "My physicians, nurses and technicians are incredibly caring and competent people."
Rep. Hagedorn's statement includes a comment from his oncologist, Mayo Clinic Dr. Lance Pagliaro, who says that he has responded well to immunotherapy.
Rep. Hagedorn is facing a re-election battle this November, with DFL candidate Dan Feehan, whom he narrowly beat in 2018, planning to challenge him once again.