Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) announced he has been diagnosed with lymphoma and will soon start chemo-immunotherapy.
The 60-year-old congressman, a former constitutional law professor who became a star in the Democratic Party leading the second impeachment effort against former President Donald Trump and working as a member of the January 6 Committee, released a statement about his health on Wednesday, stressing that he expects to keep working even as he receives intensive treatment.
“After several days of tests, I have been diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, which is a serious but curable form of cancer,” Raskin said. “I am about to embark on a course of chemo-immunotherapy on an outpatient basis at Med Star Georgetown University Hospital and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prognosis for most people in my situation is excellent after four months of treatment.”
“I expect to be able to work through this period but have been cautioned by my doctors to reduce unnecessary exposure to avoid COVID-19, the flu and other viruses,” he added. “In addition to destroying cancer cells, chemotherapy impairs natural antibodies and undermines the body’s immune system. I am advised that it also causes hair loss and weight gain (although I am still holding out hope for the kind that causes hair gain and weight loss).”
Raskin, first elected to the House in 2016, represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, which will now only contain Montgomery County after redistricting nixed portions of Frederick and Carrol counties. Just last week, House Democrats picked Raskin to be the ranking member on the Oversight Committee, which next term under the leadership of Republicans is expected to take on investigations into President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The congressman lost his 25-year-old son, Tommy, to suicide in late 2020, and wrote a memoir about working through the “unthinkable trauma and loss” that followed Tommy’s death and the Capitol riot. Raskin is also no stranger to cancer. More than a decade ago, when Raskin was a state senator, he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, for which he underwent radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.
This time around, Raskin said, “With the benefit of early detection and fine doctors, the help of my extraordinary staff, the love of Sarah and our daughters and sons-in-law (actual and to-be) and family and friends, and the support of my beloved constituents and my colleagues in the House, I plan to get through this and, in the meantime, to keep making progress every day in Congress for American democracy.”
He concluded: “My love and solidarity go out to other families managing cancer or any other health condition in this holiday season — and all the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who provide us comfort and hope.”