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Hirono to Undergo Treatment for Kidney Cancer

May 16, 2017, 11:11 AM HST · Updated May 16, 3:56 PM
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US Senator Mazie Hirono, 113th Congress.

US Senator Mazie Hirono today announced plans to undergo treatment for kidney cancer.  The diagnosis was made after a routine pre-operative physical for her eye surgery in which her doctor discovered an abnormality on a chest x-ray.

After a series of follow up tests, the diagnosis was made indicating kidney cancer, that she said is also present in her seventh rib.

“My treatment is being overseen by one of the preeminent kidney cancer specialists in the country at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. He has designed a comprehensive treatment plan – including surgery to remove my right kidney and an innovative, non-invasive, outpatient procedure called Cyberknife to eradicate the lesion on my rib.”

Hirono said that at the conclusion of the treatment, there will be no identifiable disease left untreated.

“My doctor expects I will make a full recovery from these treatments,” Sen. Hirono said in a statement this morning.

“I will continue working during my recovery, and look forward to returning to the Senate as soon as possible,” she said.  “I face this fight with the same determination I’ve fought for the people of Hawaii. And I never quit, especially when things get tough.”

She concluded saying, “I appreciate your support and good wishes, and look forward to getting back to the Senate to continue fighting for Hawaii as soon as possible.”

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In a letter to constituents today, Sen. Hirono also addressed the issue saying:

“Earlier today, I announced I’ve been diagnosed with kidney cancer. My doctor is preeminent in his field and has designed a comprehensive treatment plan. At the end of this treatment, there will be no identifiable disease remaining. My doctor expects me to make a full recovery from this treatment.

You know me. I am prepared to fight and win this battle.

And here’s what I also want you to know: I am, without question, running for re-election in 2018. The stakes are too high and our shared values are under attack like never before.

Mahalo for the honor of continuing to serve you in the United States Senate, and for your support and aloha during this time.”

Hirono was elected to Congress in 2006, to the second congressional district, representing the seat once held by Patsy T. Mink.  With the retirement of Senator Daniel Akaka, Hirono was elected to the US Senate, where she serve as the first and only Asian American woman and first woman senator from Hawaiʻi.

US Senator Brian Schatz responded to the news today saying, “I join all of Hawai‘i in wishing Senator Hirono a rapid recovery. Mazie’s courage and fortitude are matched only by her love for our State and people. I look forward to continuing to work together with Mazie on the issues that reflect our Hawai‘i values and priorities.” 

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi also released a statement today saying, “On behalf of the Hawai‘i State Senate, our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Hirono and her family at this difficult time.  It is hoped that Senator Hirono’s tremendous grit, determination, and indomitable spirit that has served the people of Hawai‘i so well, will be galvanized by our support and well wishes.”

House Speaker Scott Saiki said, “The members of the Hawaii House of Representatives send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Senator Mazie Hirono as she battles kidney cancer.  Senator Hirono is both strong in spirit and in her efforts to represent the people of Hawaiʻi. We send our thoughts and prayers to her and her family.”

Governor David Ige issued a statement saying: “Mazie is a fighter, and I know that she brings that spirit to this latest challenge. Dawn and I pray for Sen. Hirono’s full recovery and we send our best wishes to her and her family.”

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald said: “On behalf of the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary, our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Hirono. She is a strong and tireless advocate for Hawaiʻi, and we send our aloha and support to her as she takes on this challenge.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released a statement saying: “I send my warmest aloha, prayers and well wishes for a quick recovery to Senator Hirono as she undergoes treatment for kidney cancer. I talked with Mazie today, and she was upbeat and fearless as she takes on this fight. I look forward to seeing Mazie back at the Capitol soon to continue our work together on behalf of the people of Hawaiʻi.”

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