Ted Kennedy diagnosed with brain tumor

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Senator Ted Kennedy, a Democrat from Massachusetts, who was recently hospitalized after suffering two seizures, has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Kennedy's doctors discovered the tumor as part of a battery of tests performed to diagnose the cause of the seizures.

Senator Ted Kennedy

Late last week the senator was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital from the Kennedy Compound, after reportedly suffering stroke-like symptoms. After two hours in the emergency room, he was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

A statement given by Dr. Lee Schwamm and Dr. Larry Ronan of Massachusetts General Hospital stated, "Over the course of the last several days, we've done a series of tests on Senator Kennedy to determine the cause of his seizure. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital."

The statement went on to say, "However, preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy."

The statement finished by saying, "Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis. Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy."


United States Senate

Various Senate colleagues and other politicians have reacted to the announcement.

John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts and fellow colleague noted, "We are pulling for our pal, and I know he is determined to fight this."

Kerry also released a statement from his office saying, "Now, everybody needs to pull together on behalf of Ted. We must pull for him and his family and remember that Teddy is one unbelievable fighter," and noting that "Over the weekend, I saw him and he’s in a fighting mood."

Kerry finished by stating, "I know that Ted is determined to fight this because he wants to continue his fight for the people of Massachusetts and he wants to continue to fight for everything that he believes in here in the United States Senate and throughout our country."

  We are pulling for our pal, and I know he is determined to fight this.  

John Kerry

Christopher Dodd, the Democratic senator from Connecticut and one of Kennedy's closest friends, joined Kerry along with Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid and said of Kennedy, "He's a strong guy and has great heart and we're confident he'll be back here."

Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader from Nevada said, "He knows how we feel about him, without our even telling him. ... And so we stand as a body, and as certainly a Democratic family, with our affection, our love and our prayers with Senator Ted Kennedy."

  Ted, Ted, Ted. My dear friend. I love you and miss you.  

—Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)

Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator for Nebraska, recently said that Ted Kennedy is "the one politician who brings tears to my eyes when he speaks."

"I am so deeply saddened I have lost the words," said John Warner, the Republican senator from Virginia.

Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia wept on the Senate floor as he said, "Ted, Ted, Ted. My dear friend. I love you and miss you." Byrd also stated, "Keep Ted here for us and for America."

The three Presidential candidates, all three of whom are Senators gave statements on the announcement of Kennedy's tumor.

"He fights for what he thinks is right. And we want to make sure that he's fighting this illness. And it's our job now to support him in the way that he has supported us for so many years. He's not just a great senator, he is a great friend. He is beloved by me, and beloved by my colleagues," said Barack Obama, the Senator from Illinois and one of the two Democratic candidates for President.

Kennedy threw his support behind Obama and endorsed him back in January right before Super Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton, the other Democratic candidate for President and New York's junior senator said, "Ted Kennedy's courage and resolve are unmatched, and they have made him one of the greatest legislators in Senate history. Our thoughts are with him and Vicki and we are praying for a quick and full recovery." The Clinton family is also friends with the Kennedy family. The Clinton's occasionally vacationed at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

"Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to him. We hope and pray that they will be able to treat it and that he will experience a full recovery. I have said on numerous occasions, I have described Ted Kennedy as the last lion in the Senate, and I have held that view because he remains the single most effective member of the Senate if you want to get results," said John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona and presumptive nominee for the Republicans bid for the White House.

  Our thoughts are with Senator Kennedy and his family during this difficult period. We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery.  

—President George W. Bush

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California said, "I have confidence though because Senator Kennedy has been a fighter all his life. He is a fighter — a fighter for our children, for our workers, for our seniors. He is a champion fighting for health care for all Americans. I know that that fighting spirit will hold him in good stead in the challenge that he faces now."

President George W. Bush released a statement saying, "Laura and I are concerned to learn of our friend Senator Kennedy's diagnosis. Ted Kennedy is a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength and powerful spirit. Our thoughts are with Senator Kennedy and his family during this difficult period. We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery."