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Congressman and civil-rights leader John Lewis diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

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After years of fighting for civil rights, including being beaten by police during a march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, U.S. Rep. John Lewis is facing a different kind of battle.

Lewis’s office announced today that he has been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and will undergo treatment. He plans to continue his duties in Congress.

“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life,” Lewis said in a statement. “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”

Lewis has worked alongside many notable civil rights activists over the years, including Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young and Reverend Al Sharpton. President Barack Obama awarded him the Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Lewis, 79, is in his 17th term as a Congressman and has been representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District since being elected in 1986. He serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, leading the Oversight subcommittee.

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