Mary­land’s long­time Se­nate leader vows to fight can­cer.

Miller to carry out du­ties while un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY BRIAN WITTE

AN­NAPO­LIS | Mary­land’s long­time Se­nate pres­i­dent said Thurs­day he plans to carry out his Se­nate re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as he fights prostate can­cer and un­der­goes chemo­ther­apy dur­ing the state’s leg­isla­tive ses­sion.

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Thomas V. Mike Miller choked up be­fore mak­ing the an­nounce­ment in the Se­nate cham­ber, as some of his top aides from over the years watched from the gallery. The 76-year-old Demo­crat is en­ter­ing his 33rd year as pres­i­dent of the Mary­land Se­nate. He’s the long­est-serv­ing state Se­nate pres­i­dent ever in Mary­land and in the na­tion.

“With your con­tin­ued sup­port and in­dul­gence, I fully in­tend to fight this dis­ease as so many have and to fully carry out my Se­nate re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” the Calvert Demo­crat said in a state­ment re­leased as he ad­dressed his col­leagues on the sec­ond day of the state’s 90-day ses­sion.

Mr. Miller said he been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sig­nif­i­cant back pain after hip and knee re­place­ment surgery “that never seemed to heal ap­pro­pri­ately.” He was di­ag­nosed in July with prostate can­cer and pre­scribed med­i­ca­tion and phys­i­cal ther­apy.

“De­spite these treat­ments, the pain did not sub­side and on De­cem­ber 27th, I awoke with a sharp pain in my leg,” Mr. Miller said. “After an­other se­ries of tests at Johns Hop­kins, the on­col­o­gist in­formed me and my fam­ily that the prostate can­cer could no longer be man­aged through phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals alone and that ad­di­tional treat­ment would be nec­es­sary.”

Sen­a­tors walked up to hug their long­time leader after Thurs­day’s ses­sion ad­journed.

“It’s just a sad day for us, but as I’ve said we have to keep it to­gether for the Se­nate’s sake and that’s what our pres­i­dent wants us to do, and we will just move on for­ward and do the best job we can and we all have to work to­gether to make that hap­pen,” said Sen. Kathy Klaus­meier, who as Se­nate pres­i­dent pro tem will lead the cham­ber if Mr. Miller is ab­sent.

Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, an Eastern Shore Repub­li­can, said sen­a­tors will rally around the long­time Se­nate chief.

“It’s very scary when your lead­ers are more vul­ner­a­ble than they have been in the past, but I think it’s a great op­por­tu­nity for lead­er­ship to rally around him and sup­port him,” Eckardt said.

Mr. Miller isn’t alone among top Mary­land lead­ers with health con­cerns in re­cent years.

House Speaker Michael Busch, 72, Anne Arun­del Demo­crat, had by­pass surgery last year and a liver trans­plant the year be­fore. Gov. Larry Ho­gan, 62, was di­ag­nosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin lym­phoma in 2015. The Repub­li­can gov­er­nor an­nounced he was in re­mis­sion in Novem­ber 2016.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mary­land state sen­a­tors say they plan to rally around Se­nate Pres­i­dent Thomas V. Mike Miller, who an­nounced Thurs­day that he’s fight­ing prostate can­cer.

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