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Despite cancer diagnosis, Rep. Lewis qualifies to run for 18th term

He started getting treatment for stage four pancreatic cancer in late December.

ATLANTA — Despite his treatment for stage four pancreatic cancer, Congressman John Lewis qualified Monday to run for an eighteenth term in Congress. Lewis said he is regaining strength after undergoing treatment.  

Rep. Lewis, a Democrat and civil rights legend, has mostly stayed in Washington since he started getting treatment for stage four pancreatic cancer in late December.

Lewis slipped almost unnoticed into the state Capitol Monday, which saw a crush of elected officeholders and challengers who wanted to officially sign up to run for office in the party primaries in May. 

RELATED: Rep. John Lewis casts primary ballot, says 'we all must get out and vote like we never voted before'

Lewis was among them, moving to the front of the line, then sitting at a table with a registrar working with the state Democratic party.  When he finished, Lewis talked briefly about his health.  

"I’m feeling really good. Ready to run the race," he said.

Asked if he considered not running because of his diagnosis, Lewis said no. 

"I never considered not running. I’m getting better. I’m feeling good. I feel stronger and stronger."

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Lewis said he was inspired by a visit he made this weekend to Selma Alabama for the 55th anniversary of the bloody Sunday civil rights march, in which he was among demonstrators beaten by Alabama state troopers in 1965.

Lewis said he "was deeply inspired" by the visit to Selma.  "More than ever before, to get out there and run" for re-election, he said.

RELATED: 'Don't be so quiet' | The story of John Lewis and a civil rights revolution

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