The news that U.S. Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer triggered many people to express their support on social media Wednesday, from celebrities to fellow politicians.
McCain took to Twitter on Thursday to express his thanks for the outpouring support he has received.
“I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support – unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!,” he tweeted.
READ MORE: Republican Senator John McCain diagnosed with brain cancer
McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, and his wife, Cindy McCain, both took to social media to post moving statements.
Cindy took to Instagram to post a photo of the couple on their wedding day. She added, “Thank all of you for the wonderful thoughts. @senjohnmccain is doing well. We as a family will face the next hurdle together. One thing I do know is he is the toughest person I know. He is my hero and I love him with all my heart.”
Meghan wrote that her father is “the toughest person I know. The cruellest enemy could not break him. The aggressions of political life could not bend him. So he is meeting this challenge as he has every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: But it will not make him surrender.”
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Former U.S. president Barack Obama called McCain “an American hero” and wrote, “Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John.”
Hillary Clinton tweeted, “John McCain is as tough as they come. Thinking of John, Cindy, their wonderful children, & their whole family tonight.”
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon.”
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence tweeted, “Karen & I are praying for @SenJohnMcCain. Cancer picked on the wrong guy. John McCain is a fighter & he’ll win this fight too.”
Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “Thoughts and prayers with Senator John McCain, Mrs. McCain and family.”
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Former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden wrote, “John and I have been friends for 40 years. He’s gotten through so much difficulty with so much grace. He is strong — and he will beat this.”
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton tweeted, “As he’s shown his entire life, don’t bet against John McCain. Best wishes to him for a swift recovery.”
Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush released a statement that read, “The Hanoi Hilton couldn’t break John McCain’s spirit many years ago, so Barbara and I know — with confidence — he and his family will meet this latest battle in his singular life of service with courage and determination.”
Sen. Tim Kaine tweeted, “Thinking about a hero, my Chairman, my friend John McCain. Stay strong!”
McCain’s 2008 running mate and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, shared a photo on Facebook of the pair at a campaign event, adding “he’ll face this diagnosis with courage and strength.”
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Other Hollywood stars joined in, including Josh Gad, Rosie O’Donnell and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
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At the request of McCain and his family, the Mayo Clinic released a statement about the Arizona senator on Wednesday.
“On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Pheonix,” the statement read.
“Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumour known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot.”
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McCain’s brain tumour is the same kind of cancer Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has been diagnosed with.
Experts say Downie, 53, is battling an incurable cancer that’s also among the most common and most aggressive brain tumours.
Downie’s cancer is a primary brain tumour, meaning it started from within the brain itself and didn’t spread from another part of the body.
Downie underwent surgery to remove a “bulk” of his tumour on the left temporal lobe of the brain. He took on radiation treatment for six weeks paired with chemotherapy.
Other celebrities have encountered glioblastoma, Perry noted, including Joe Biden’s son and Ted Kennedy.
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What makes glioblastoma incurable is that it’s “rapidly growing,” according to Dr. Sunit Das, a surgical neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He hasn’t treated Downie but works with glioblastoma patients regularly.
Unlike lung cancer which is tied to smoking or colon cancer which has links to eating too much processed meat, for example, it’s unclear what triggers glioblastoma.
Two to three people per 100,000 encounter the disease in Canada, the United States and Europe. It’s more common in older individuals and in men more than women.
Common symptoms include headache, weakness, nausea, seizures, memory difficulties, personality changes and vomiting.
—With files from Carmen Chai and Rebecca Joseph
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