ATLANTA – July 18, 2020 – A statement from Gary M. Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows on the death of civil rights champion and U.S. Congressman Rep. John Lewis from pancreatic cancer:
“We are incredibly saddened by the news of Representative Lewis’s passing. On behalf of the entire American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network family, heartfelt condolences go out to Rep. Lewis’s son John-Miles and the entire Lewis family. While we mourn his loss, we celebrate the monumental gift of his life. John Lewis was a pillar of the civil rights movement and an example of how to live a life of service.
“Throughout his life, the civil rights icon fought for freedom, equality, and human rights across countless communities, including for cancer patients, survivors, and their families. He was fiercely committed to racial and social justice, and as part of that work, to making sure access to health care was a basic human right.
“In addition to playing a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, Rep. Lewis had long been a champion of cancer issues from his work on the Atlanta City Council throughout his time in Congress. The congressman recognized racism is a public health issue and was a vocal advocate for the passage of critical patient protections in the Affordable Care Act.
“This year, an estimated 1.8 million Americans, including more than 55,000 Georgians, will be diagnosed with cancer. On behalf of Rep. Lewis and all those who will be diagnosed this year, we will continue to support research that leads to new treatments and therapies and work with our lawmakers at the federal and state level to pass measures that move us closer to a world without cancer.”