Tom Fetzer, a highly respected North Carolina Republican and former mayor of Raleigh, has revealed that he is fighting a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The 55-year-old politician told reporters on Friday that he discovered the disease after getting a check-up to determine why he had been feeling sick and run down for long periods of time.
Recently, the well-known Republican began receiving treatments at the Rex Cancer Center. Despite his health problems, however, he maintains a positive attitude.
"Cancer is a random and unpredictable monster," he said. "My doctors have given me great confidence I will be able to overcome this. They tell me this form of cancer responds well to chemotherapy."
His particular illness stems from cancerous cells developing in white blood cells called lymphocytes – part of the body’s immune system. Then, depending on the seriousness and quickness with which the disease spreads, it offers various levels of treatability.
"The only thing you can really do at a time like this is put your faith in God and leave it up to him and go about your business," Fetzer said.
Fetzer was Raleigh’s mayor from 1993 to 1999. In January, he stepped down from his post as chairman of the N.C. Republican Party in order to form a lobbying and political consulting firm. Much of the credit for the ability of the Republicans to capture the state legislature in last fall’s election has been attributed to his hard work.