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Kansas insurance commissioner has breast cancer, expects full recovery

By: - June 14, 2023 3:24 pm
Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt takes the oath of office on Jan. 9, 2023, for her second term.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt takes the oath of office on Jan. 9, 2023, for her second term. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt has been diagnosed with breast cancer and expects to make a full recovery, she announced Wednesday.

Schmidt said her doctor discovered the disease after a routine mammogram. She plans to continue her work at the Insurance Department and undergo treatment in the coming weeks at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

“I am encouraged by the support of my friends and family, but what I ask is that you schedule your yearly mammogram or encourage the women in your life to do so,” Schmidt said. “While uncomfortable, awkward and let’s be honest, painful, I am proof this preventative procedure can save lives.”

Schmidt, a Republican from Topeka, was reelected to a second four-year term as insurance commissioner in November. The 67-year-old pharmacist previously served in the Kansas Senate from 2005 to 2019.

In a statement released on social media, Schmidt said she has often played a supporting role in Kansans’ fight against cancer through her work as a pharmacist and as insurance commissioner.

“Now that I’m on the other side, their stories, their determination and their strength are the foundation on which I face this fight,” she said.

She requested prayers for her husband.

“I’m not a very good patient,” Schmidt said.

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the editor in chief of Kansas Reflector. He writes about things that powerful people don't want you to know. A two-time Kansas Press Association journalist of the year, his award-winning reporting includes stories about education, technology, foster care, voting, COVID-19, sex abuse, and access to reproductive health care. Before founding Kansas Reflector in 2020, he spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2004, back when the school still valued English and journalism. He was raised in the country at the end of a dead end road in Lyon County.