Former Sen. Bob Dole announces he has Stage 4 lung cancer

National

Former US Senator Bob Dole speaks as he introduces US Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation Now) — Former Republican presidential candidate and longtime senator Bob Dole announced Thursday he has Stage 4 lung cancer.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Dole, 97, said:

“Recently I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. My first treatment will begin 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.”

Now retired, Dole’s 45 years in public office included service in the Kansas state legislature and both houses of the U.S. Congress, leadership of his party’s national committee and floor leadership in the U.S. Senate.

Dole lost to Bill Clinton in the 1996 presidential election, and was President Gerald Ford’s vice presidential running mate in the 1976 election, when Ford lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

A native of Russell, Kansas, Dole was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 2018 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1997 for his public service.

Dole overcame disabling war wounds sustained near the end of World War II to forge his lengthy political career. Charging a German position in northern Italy in 1945, Dole was hit by a shell fragment that crushed two vertebrae and paralyzed his arms and legs. The young Army platoon leader spent three years recovering in a hospital but never regained use of his right hand.

Dole left the Army as a captain, but Congress in 2019 approved a promotion for him to colonel. He also received two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for his military service.

He was a driving force behind the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, speaking poignantly at its 2004 dedication before tens of thousands of fellow veterans in their 80s and 90s, calling it “our final reunion.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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