Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, according to a statement shared on social media from official accounts.

“My first treatment will begin on Monday,” the statement from Dole said. “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”

Dole represented Kansas in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 35 years and ran unsuccessfully for president in 1996.  He was the Republican Leader of the United States Senate during the final 11 years of his tenure, including three nonconsecutive years as Senate Majority Leader.  

Dole, is 97 and a native of Russell, Kansas.  He earned two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for valor for his service in the Army during World War II.  He was an infantry Lieutenant in 1945 when he was wounded by German machine gun fire, which left him with limited use of his right art.  He was promoted from Captain to Colonel for his service in 2019.  

Dole also received the Congress’ highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, from President Donald Trump in 2018.

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas said there has been no better public servant than Dole, and he expects Dole to take on this challenge like he has so many others in his life.  “Just as he did as one of the heroes from our greatest generation, in this battle, Senator Dole Will continue to show us the way through hope, resiliency, and perseverance,” Marshall said.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sen. Dole and his family as we pray for his complete healing and recovery.

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