Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole died Sunday at age 98 after battling lung cancer. (Pool photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
TOPEKA — U.S. Sen. Robert Dole, an icon of Kansas politics and Republican nominee for president, is preparing to initiate treatment for lung cancer.
Dole, 97, issued a statement that said he was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and would begin treatment on Monday.
“While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own,” Dole said.
Dole served in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996 and in the U.S. House from 1961 to 1969. He was the GOP presidential nominee in 1996, losing to President Bill Clinton, and the vice presidential nominee in 1976 with President Gerald Ford.
He was born in Russell and was seriously injured in Italy while fighting in World War II.
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, said Kansans were hopeful that Dole found comfort and healing.
“Senator Dole is someone I respect as a leader and consider a friend to me and Robba. We are praying for him and Senator Elizabeth Dole as they tackle this new challenge,” Moran said.
He also made reference to lyrics of Dole’s favorite song: “Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone.”
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a statement regarding Dole’s cancer diagnosis on behalf of himself and his wife, Jennifer.
“Jennifer and I were greatly saddened to learn of Senator Bob Dole’s declining health. We know he will fight this battle with the grace and grit he has shown throughout his remarkable life,” Schmidt said. “Senator Dole has long been a part of our lives, and we are proud to call him our friend. He gave Jennifer her first job after college as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C. He has supported me in all my campaigns for public office and always given sage advice.”
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