“[email protected], we are all praying for you following this diagnosis. John, know that generations of Americans have you in their thoughts & prayers as you face this fight. We are all praying that you are comfortable,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted on Sunday. “We know that you will be well.”
A number of Republicans also took to Twitter to send words of encouragement to the congressman after he announced his cancer diagnosis.
The outpouring included members of both parties.
“John Lewis is a giant—an icon of the civil rights movement, a leader in Congress and one of the kindest people I know. I’m praying for a speedy and full recovery. We need you making good trouble in the halls of Congress!” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) tweeted a video of her and Lewis dancing to “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind & Fire, writing: “I know we have many, many dances & endeavors in good trouble to come. Covering you in prayer as you take on this fight.”
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 30, 2019
“Deeply saddened by news that @RepJohnLewis has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Champion. Hero. Legend,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) tweeted. “Mr. Lewis has always been there to fight for America. America must now be there to pray for and stand with him during this time of need.”
“[email protected] has always fought for what he believes in. And now more than ever, America needs his unparalleled commitment to build a more just and equitable future. He will fight this. He will beat this. His fight is not done,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tweeted.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) joined other members from the opposite side of the aisle in offering support.
He shared a photo of him and the civil rights icon at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the site of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965.
“John Lewis has crossed many tough bridges in his life. He’s never backed down from a fight, always standing firm & with resolve,” Walker wrote. “It was one of the greatest honors of my life to walk by his side across this bridge, & I will do the same as he crosses his next. Prayers, my friend.”
John Lewis has crossed many tough bridges in his life. He’s never backed down from a fight, always standing firm & with resolve.
It was one of the greatest honors of my life to walk by his side across this bridge, & I will do the same as he crosses his next. Prayers, my friend. pic.twitter.com/C9ehsKNCNG
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) December 30, 2019
“I join the nation in praying for my colleague @RepJohnLewis. John has never backed down from a fight, and I know he will battle cancer with the same courage and toughness he has always demonstrated,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) tweeted.
“Praying for my friend, @repjohnlewis as he begins his fight against cancer. They don’t make them stronger or braver, and I’m confident he will take on this challenge as he has every other he’s faced: with courage and determination fueled by his strong faith,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) also tweeted.
Other prominent political figures offering support included former President Obama.
Lewis said in a statement that while he is “clear-eyed” about the prognosis, doctors have told him that recent medical advances have made the type of cancer he suffers from “treatable in many cases” and added that he has “a fighting chance.”
He also said that he plans to return to Washington in the coming days to continue his work in Congress and also begin a treatment plan, which he added “will occur over the next several weeks.”
Lewis was first elected to Congress in 1986. He rose to national prominence before his election as a civil rights leader for his work as a freedom fighter and for famously marching alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the March on Washington in 1963.